|Gov. Schwarzenegger made an appearance this morning on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Find the full transcript here|
Here's some highlights:
On what an "Arnold Republican" is:
Well, it’s basically being fiscally conservative, being socially moderate and you know, being environmentally progressive. I think that’s what it basically means. And you know, Tim, one of the most important things, I think, that this nation is facing is that we—while we must see economic progress—and I think we have had great progress economically and I think the Bush administration hasn’t gotten enough credit for that, the jobs are coming back, we have the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years or so, the economy’s booming—But we also have to protect the environment at the same time, and that’s what we are doing in California. And I think this is something that this country has to do. We have to show leadership in protecting our environment so that we have a future for our children and grandchildren.
On eliminating the deficit:
And we have done a tremendous job of bringing down the structural deficit from $16 ½ billion when I took office to now $4 ½ billion. And we’re going to come down further this year and we’re going to eliminate it by next year or the year after that.
On universal healthcare:
First of all, we have to bring down the health care costs, we have to make it more affordable to provide health care. Number two, we’ve got to insure everybody, because we have 6.7 million people that are uninsured, and we’re working right now on the various different ideas, we’re going to bring those ideas together, I’m going to present this in my State of the State address. But this is the next big challenge. Look, if we could face the challenge and fix our infrastructure problem and approve a $37 billion infrastructure package, we can also solve the health care problem.
Will he face Boxer in 2010?
You know, I’m not really thinking about what I’m doing in 2010. I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m not really thinking about any of that. I’m thinking about, now, moving California forward, making sure that we create more accountability in education in California, fixing our health care problems to insure everybody that is uninsured. I mean, those are the kind of—and how we build California. I think those are the very important issues.
So I think we got to get out of there. We have to have a time, a timeline. I totally believe that there has to be a timeline there. But we got to get out of there with a victory rather than with a defeat.