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Schwarzenegger: Fellow GOPers 'say no to everything,' but they should support the president

February 21, 2010 |  1:02 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning criticized fellow Republicans for being hypocritical when they trample on the federal stimulus program, and he dismissed the "tea party" movement as "just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction."

Schwarzenegger appeared Sunday morning with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, on ABC's "This Week." The host, Terry Moran, played a clip of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought the GOP nomination for president in 2008, attacking President Obama and saying the stimulus didn't create any private-sector jobs.

"I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn't create any new jobs," said Schwarzenegger, who has frequently criticized national Republicans in the past, often on Sunday talk shows. "And then they go out and they do the photo ops and they are posing with the big check and they say, 'Isn't this great. Look what the kind of money I provide you for the state.' ... It doesn't match up."

Schwarzenegger, in Washington for the National Governors Assn. conference, has a private meeting scheduled with Obama for Monday. He is looking for more federal aid for California, and had kind words for the Democratic president.

"I don't want to beat up on my Republican colleagues, but I think it's kind of politics rather than thinking about only one thing, and this is, how do we support the president?" he said. "How do we support him and do everything we can in order to stimulate the economy?"

Asked by Moran whether his party was "the party of no," Schwarzenegger said the GOP opposition to Obama was driven by the desire to win elections. National Republicans, on the other hand, say their opposition is heartfelt.

"They have to do everything they can in order to win in November, so they are going to say no to everything," Schwarzenegger said. "They are going to say it is not good what Obama is doing. It is natural."

At the same time, he said, the Republicans are tapping into anger among voters across the country, which is embodied by tea party groups that oppose taxes, immigration and a host of other issues. Schwarzenegger suggested the movement is unproductive.

"The tea party is not going to go anywhere. I think the tea party is all about just an expression of anger and dissatisfaction," he said. "And I see it in California when people come up to me and says, 'You know I am angry that you guys don't get along in Sacramento, I am angry that they are not getting along in Washington, I am angry that nothing gets done, I am angry that I am unemployed, I am angry that people are losing homes, I am angry that businesses are losing their businesses and all of those kind of things and the economy is down."

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento

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