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Schwarzenegger defends trip to Washington on election day

May 19, 2009 | 12:28 pm

Speaking to reporters in Washington today, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger defended his decision to attend a White House ceremony announcing an agreement on fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions instead of trying to rally voters for the state’s crucial special election.

“I did vote absentee. And I'm looking forward to the outcome. Tonight, or tomorrow morning, we will know.  And I will be back tomorrow morning to bring back the good news of what happened here today, how this is a huge victory for California,” Schwarzenegger said. “And tomorrow, we will deal with the results of the election. And we will have a Big Five meeting and get together with the legislative leaders.”

Schwarzenegger rejected the suggestion that the state would be ungovernable without the passage of state budget propositions.


“Elections are always, you win or you lose, and I think that we always will know how to move forward and make the adjustment. We always respect the will of the people,” he said. “But right now, I think, what is important today, since we don't know what the outcome is of the election, tomorrow, we will analyze that. And we will move forward according to that. But today we are going to go and celebrate this great victory.”

“During this last weekend, we negotiated and the negotiations got very intense and all of a sudden they all clicked and we came together,” Schwarzenegger said of the talks between the White House, several states, automakers and other parties on the new national fuel efficiency and emissions standards. “Then the president asked me to come here to the White House right along with [Massachusetts] Gov. [Deval] Patrick and [Michigan] Gov. [Jennifer] Granholm and our team to go and bring everyone together and to celebrate and sign this agreement. When the president asks you to come and be part of a celebration and sign an agreement, you do it, especially when you feel so passionate about the subject.”


— Jim Puzzanghera in Washington