January 12th, 2009
05:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Gingrich offers Schwarzenegger advice on government reform

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.arnold0112.gi.jpg caption="Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich has some advice to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While President-elect Barack Obama talks about reforming the federal government by bringing change to Washington, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to the nation’s capital for advice on how to shake up Sacramento.

More specifically, the governor’s senior aides recently turned to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for input on how to enact political reforms and make the government run more efficiently, Schwarzenegger communications director Matt David tells CNN.

David said the discussion between Gingrich and Schwarzenegger chief of staff Susan Kennedy did not focus on the current deadlock over the California state budget, but rather the governor’s goal of creating a more efficient state government that could include “consolidating some agencies and getting rid of overtime and sick time abuse.”

“Since his first day in office, the governor has been looking at ways to reform the political system in Sacramento, to make it more accountable and to also make government more efficient to save taxpayer dollars,” he said.

David, who got to know Gingrich during his work at the conservative group Freedoms Watch, reached out to the former House speaker to ask for suggestions and ideas on the issue of reform.

With the Republican Party searching for a unifying theme, could political reform and smaller government be the GOP rallying cry in 2010? Lacking a natural national leader right now, will Schwarzenegger and/or Gingrich fill that role?

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    An evil man giving advice to a dumb man.

    Oh, this ought to be good,

    January 12, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Newt's extra marital affair will create more public smear for the GOP and Arnold needs to show management responsibility for his own State in order to show he can lead anything. GOP members need to keep searching or have they run out of options.

    January 12, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    What needs to happen is, the ELEPHANTS need to pay off the 5 trillion dollar debt, that W is leaving us with. Then, we will be super happy.

    January 12, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Arkansas Undertaker

    Newt Gingrich needs to keep his advice to himself. He couldnt run the House Of Representatives as Speaker in the 1990's.

    January 12, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Mr E

    Waoooooooo, Newt Gingrich offering Advice to Schwarzenegger. Am sorry for you California, Beware that any thing Newt touches becomes garbage,

    January 12, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Juan Grain

    Maybe he can teach him how to speak english!

    January 12, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. John

    Our latest actor gov. is all smoke and mirrors since he first proposed that he had the great business scene to fix our state's budget problems. Well the good Governor has been a dismal failure because of an old requirement to have a 2/3 % approval on any budget and Arnold can't get his GOP guys in line. Arnold was big on taking out loans to get a quick fix his first year but since then it's been total gridlock.

    Instead of having the wealthiest people in the world pay their fair share of taxes the GOP would rather have kids forgo a decent education that is vital to the state's future and have kids go hungry to protect the millionaires and billionaires.

    Is that the new GOP message?

    January 12, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Joe Terrogano

    More original Republican ideas. Please run for President Arnold or Newt, please. Make it easy for Obama to have a second term. Maybe Palin as VP again or Secretary of State? Sure, with that razor sharp intellect and political skills, she would be a natural. Ha HA HA!

    January 12, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Matt

    Smaller government? HAHAHAHAHA. I doubt it. The GOP has yet to learn that legislating moral choices dictated by religious tenets is actually a "big government" exercise of power. Soon as they learn that, they MIGHT start moving back to their roots. I'm betting, however, that they'll cling to those policy positions as a means of dividing up the one-issue voters and will take us for another spin around the mulberry bush in 2 years.

    January 12, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Larry from RI

    Is this the same "newt" who, at the very same time, while prosecuting Clinton during the Lewinski scandal was himself "bumpin' uglies" with another woman outside of his own marriage?

    He certainly was efficient, accountable and reformed there huh?

    Go away newt and do the US a favor – just as the others from your party who have seen the writing on the wall are doing.

    January 12, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. BB

    I can tell Arnie how to save a lot of money. Send all Green Card holders back to India. Send illegals back to Mexico.

    Savings accomplished. OOOPS -- they'll be baaaaacck !!

    January 12, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. boered1

    yep the GOP really does need to talk, CA is currently deadlocked over their budget and the Governor is supposed to be the "leadership" the GOP is looking for? Or should it be Gingrich who could not even hold his own seat? Fact is the GOp needs to start taking a hard look at their tactics of using "hot Spot" issues to try to get in power, America has seen that they not only NEVER get their issues approved (bush – 6 years – a republican controlled rubber stamp senate why were are all those issues not taken care of then?) they also are incapable of running the government.


    January 12, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. PG

    Advice from who?

    January 12, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Terry B.

    Oh yeah, get advice from a GOP womanizing, law breaking, rule breaking disgraced former majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. When is the GOP going to learn they need to "retire" all those Reagan-Esq GOP blowhards that have been so far out of touch with reality....

    January 12, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    Paying off the 5 trillion dollar debt is a start and should be the first thing on their list of things to do.

    January 12, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. BB

    OOPS – left one item off – it's the foreigners that make up most of the welfare recipients. That's the savings. Cut the welfare !!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. FreeNLovIt

    It's like someone stole all the goods in the store and now, they're waiting to see who they can fire. First, find out who stole the goods or try to get them backk and then you can fire the clerk.

    January 12, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. chuck


    January 12, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Cathy, Peoria AZ

    Newt Gringrich should not be offering his opinion on ANYTHING to ANYONE!

    January 12, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Randy - Denver

    this cry for smaller government confuses me slightly. I understand the need to minimize budgets and reduce the intrusion on everyday life as much as possible. However, to say that social programs are not needed misses the big picture. Social strife starts when people feel unsafe in their homes and unwanted by their country. The poor in the US already feel disenfrancished, that their vote and their needs are ignored, that is one of the reasons Mr. Obama has such support from the poorer, minority, communities, they see him as a way for their voices to be heard. If people are not kept, as a minimum, fed, clothed and housed their unhappiness will lead to social and potentially civil strife. Al Queada and its ilk have shown this rather blatantly in the past several years and if we ignore the warning we will find ourselves in a similar spot as EWurope is finding themselves. In Holland, the Netherlands and even England the disenfrancised (in this case mostly Muslim) poor have really started to destroy the social fabric. We will find ourselves, sooner rather than later, in that same role if we do not really deal with our economic and social split in this country. The social programs (education, social security, health care, welfare, etc) need to be reinforced and additional programs, to try to break the cycle of welfare, need to be pursued. This will require larger government, the fact is as more people become Americans the social problems increase. We are not a country with thousands of years behind us, we are a new and evolving country that, while we have determined our broad outlines, have no historic reference or specific present details. We are larger than than any empire (in numbers) save the Chinese and late USSR than over occured in history and unlike all the other empires we have no set culture therefore we MUST ensure our social programs continue to ensure our culture does the same.

    January 12, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. Karl Rove

    The governor work furlough will cause the Sacramento region to lose over $1 billion dollars; overall, his strategy will cost a loss of $3 billion dollars to California. This GOP is a lameduck – he is not the leader California needs nor the GOP....

    January 12, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. IsaacFromCali

    Even though I did not vote for the Governator... twice, I have to admit I am proud to have him as governor. Arnold Schwarzenegger has to be one of the best "real" republicans out there but thats not saying much since there is only about 5 "real" republicans out there.

    Arnold does not need advice from any republican. He should be the one giving advice. He is a good role model on how you supposed to work together with repubs and democrats. He is truly a unitor.

    Now go make Terminator 4!!

    January 12, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Ward Connelly

    The Governor needs a new director who is more accountable for the budget process which has caused UC campuses across California to stop accepting applications for the brightest and best students. His armaggedon ploy is not working. Three constitutional officers have stated that he they will not follow this governor's furlough request. It will shut down government and will not serve the People of California. Susan Kennedy is dead wrong – it's not the State Workers nor the UC Campuses or teachers who are at fault. It's he and his GOP legislators who continue to embattle the State into debt!

    January 12, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Anil

    For the infomation of BB, none of the Indian Green Card holders are in queue for the welfare. They are all making 6 figure salaries and contributing to the welfare pool, so the ones like you can be paid from the welfare.

    January 12, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Mark Hammill

    Gingrich was a major part of the economic expansion of the nineties. If Arnold can't take his advice, he doesn't deserve to govern.

    January 12, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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