February 22nd, 2009
12:59 PM ET
10 years ago

Schwarzenegger calls stimulus plan 'terrific'


Gov. Schwarzenegger is a fan of the stimulus measure.

(CNN) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday declared President Obama's stimulus plan is "terrific," an assessment that sharply differs from many of his Republican colleagues.

In an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Schwarzenegger said he welcomes his state's share of the massive $787 billion package, believing it could create as many as 400,000 new jobs.

"We welcome this economic stimulus package. I think it's terrific and will help us," the California governor said. "We were happy even though there's…people complaining. It's not what they envisioned, but what is? The people will give you 1,000 different answers.

"It was Obama that got elected. He put the package together, so let's support it," he also said.

Schwarzenegger's comments differ sharply from those of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who earlier on State of the Union said he would turn down some of the stimulus money because it could lead to future spending requirements from his state.

Specifically Barbour took issue with extensions to unemployment benefits called for in the package, which he believes the state will have to finance after the federal funds run out.

But Schwarzenegger disagreed, suggesting the added unemployment benefits can be cut off once the economy rebounds.

"If you promise people this money will come next year and the year after that, you'll have a major problem," he said. "But if you use the money for one-time spending…it cannot hurt."

soundoff (412 Responses)
  1. goddy

    You know, we don't remember history in this country.
    I heared similar arguments against President Clinton that the Republicans are laying on presiden Obama.
    What happened? Clinton left us with SUPPLUSSSSSSS.
    Who left us with DEFICIT , I mean HUGE DEFICIT ? BUSH !!!!.
    I have no idea why the lonely republicans are fighting Obama who without a doubt beat them.

    February 22, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Chris from NY

    One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

    Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

    He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
    Donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

    A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
    back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel
    dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

    Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

    The Republicans have been busy shoveling dirt on Obama but with each step he keep shaking off the dirt. That’s how he got to where he is today. They have called him every name in the books: a terrorist, a Socialist and a Communist. Yet every day he keeps working for the American people. By the time the Republicans will wake up Obama may have accomplished what no Republican President would have done. He’s been busy keeping the pace while the Republicans are busy whining and critiquing.

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Eisener

    I am not usually a fan of Governor Schwarzenegger – but I pretty much agreed with every single word he said during his interview this morning. And I hope that the Governors that dare to state that they are not taking "the money" follow through and send the money to Schwarzenegger and others who keeps this nation at heart – with no eye to their own political horses. Bravo Schwarzenegger! If we just had more politicians of your caliber.

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. R in Maine

    "It was Obama that got elected. He put the package together, so let's support it."
    Shun Arnold at your own risk. He is not always brilliant, but at least he speaks with common sense.

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. No Hillary = No Obama

    Is this really going to help California where state workers and state officers are now closed the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month for the next 18 months to 2 years? California can expect more taxes and less education. This is what happens when the populace elects someone who had no political experience, only political ambition. This is what happens within a celebrity culture – we get The Terminator – terminating services.

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Mellie

    Let Arnold sip on that koolaid! He's the only sensible Republican that realizes sitting down and complaining about the package without offering any kind of new solutions outside of the same 'ole Bush tax cuts won't fix the economy. Obama is trying his best to provide some kind of economic relief....we need a stimulus package...These GOP idiots do not feel the sense of urgency that most of the American people feel because they are too busy selling their multi-million dollar homes to purchase new ones (cough* Mitt Romney)

    We need this money, want this money....GOP does not care about the American people. If they truly did, they would not have let Bush and his goonies run up the debt in this country for a whopping 8 years. They want Obama to fail so they can reclaim power. This is a conspiracy! Since they didn't succeed in shutting down the stimulus package, they are now going to try refusing the funds so that people will continue to suffer and then they can jump up and say that the stimulus did not work. I will not vote for GOP candidate ever! I will remember how these idiots put party first instead of country first.

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Mike in Philly

    " The terminator doesnt want to get terminated so he will agree to take the money.."

    CA has term limits; Arnold can not be elected again, even if he wanted to. So from a political career perspective, he would have nothing to lose by saying the stimulus stinks. Yet he says otherwise. I find that interesting ...

    February 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. lamar of springfield,mo.

    Gov. Barbour should be awarded the a*&hole of the year. How on earth can he turn down any type of aid for the State of Mississippi. I attended college in Mississippi and I was able to see first hand the poverty in the state. There are areas in the Mississippi Delta that would make you want to cry. The living conditions are worst or equal to those of a third world country. I've seen homes without plumbing. Children that literally have to cut the tips of their shoes off because their feet have grown and they simply can't afford new ones. My Fraternity did a lot of community service, but we would still leave feeling that we could have done more. The reality is, it is just to much to do. Gov. Barbour before you talk about turning down money look past the city of Jackson and take a look north west to the Delta.

    February 22, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Meka

    1- Being that AMERICA WAS BUILT BY THE MIDDLE-CLASS, and that is what the Republican Party has tried to ELIMINATE.

    2- When you've Initiated TWO WARS, and OUT-SOURCED THE HIGHEST NUMBERED OF JOBS (simultaneously) . . .



    OBAMA/BIDEN 08-12

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Pat

    Well say what you may about Arnold. I didn't vote for him, but I am beginning to like him. California has been HIT real hard by this econmic melt down. 20,000 state employee's being laid off. Other state employee's are not being paid for a day or two each month. Cities laying off police officers and I'm sure firemen. We're in the double digits employment wise. I believe Arnold is doing the best he can. They almost didn't pass the budget out here because Repub's didn't like it. boo hoo Finally the 'one' repub vote they needed stepped up to the plate. What I found interesting, is the RNC told Calif repub's if they voted fot the Calif budgets, when they ran for re-election they'd be sure other repub's would be set-up to run against them. Good old GOP..Nice guys..

    If Repub gov's don't want the money, send it to California..

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Mike

    To other people's money:

    So, an economist who also happens to be Nobel Laureate (i.e., Paul Krugman) isn't "worth listening to?"

    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Matthew, Detroit

    The guy is an idiot. He should just switch parties and get it done.


    February 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. B

    1) How easily we forget that the first stimulus package was sponsored by the GOP
    2) The president responsible for getting us to this wretched place, was from ...the GOP
    3) Said president, for years, was instrumental in being the biggest road block to any real progress in Washington, namely, Congress' inability to get any substantive legislature passed, for 8 years.
    4) Obama INHERITED this problem, from the GOPs great George W. Bush

    that said..I'm from California originally, and thought that Arnold was going to be the biggest joke. However, as his tenure ends, I believe him to be one of the few Republicans left, with any real sense. Sure, he may have made some bad calls, but who hasn't. And at least, He's on of the handful of republicans, that show any respect for the President. The GOP could learn a lot from Gov. Schwartzenegger...mainly how to be respectful again.

    February 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. shellbelli

    obviously reps "fiscal responsibility" landed us in this mess. so yeah a stimulus is a "spending" bill to get money back in the economy for stores and jobs.
    what else did Obama have to do? he inherited this mess – it took 8 years to fudge the economy its going to takea lot to fix it – years we are tallking. Im sure no one is 100% sure how to fix it.
    we gave Bush 8 years of nothing but lies and mistakes give Obama some slack, I m sure he will make mistakes as well.

    February 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Brian

    Once again Hollywood screwing up the political process. Stick to what you know and terminate yourself...oh wait Californias economy will take care of that.

    February 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. ja

    kudos governor, your GOP counterparts don't have the true interest of the people at hand, they are playing the stale game of politics, most GOP governors are multimillionaires already,

    February 22, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Brian

    Oh and I forgot he's married to the Kennedy family, a true Republican through and through.

    February 22, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Ben Maine

    Reply to: Schwarzenegger is a true Republican

    Of course the dems would never shun one of their own...(cough, Lieberman)

    February 22, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. dave bryant

    Agree with the stimulus or not, at least Arnie is taking a pragmatic point of view.

    February 22, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Vik

    Can I just say whoever mentions illegals taking are jobs, are just plain stupid people. You know where all the jobs went, over seas. Yeah, that's where all these rich companies took their manufacturing plants to. So stop blaming immigrants and start asking for these companies to provide jobs in the U.S. I'd rather pay more for a product, if jobs are kept here in the U.S.

    February 22, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Will

    You must have a terrible job if your complaining about illegals taking over it. Maybe you should get a real job.

    February 22, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Matthew, Detroit

    That is not true about Obama getting us in a hole.
    BUSH indeed put us in a hole. 5 Trillion worth in 8 years.

    OBAMA has just come out with a 4 year budget. 1.6 trilion deficit this year and at least 1 trillion the 2 years after. At least 500 billion in the 4th year. That is " 5 -7 Trillion in Debt" by Obamas own estimates.

    He is not solving any problems. He is adding to them.
    STOP SPENDING. CUT BUDGETS. Leave the taxes as is. But dont raise taxes if you are just going to keep spending.

    February 22, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. GOPer

    Finally a GOPer with some common sense. Thank You Arnold!

    February 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. striker

    Now that the GOP governors are refusing the money, I want to hear from Republicans in Congress: Since they voted for the package, are they going to resist cashing in on this stimulus package for their districts. They won't, because they're cowards.

    February 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. John

    California only gets back $.81 cents for every dollar of federal spending they receive, while Mississippi gets $2.02 back for every dollar they contribute.


    Mississippi doesn't want to take federal money? Fine. Can we have it back please?

    February 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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