Movie star, body builder, Mr. Universe, activist. You know his movies.They’re too numerous to list. But did you know Arnold Schwarzenegger served for many years as the Chairman of President’s Council on Physical Fitness under Bush 41 and on the California Governor’s Council on Fitness? A crusader for physical fitness, he’s long been associated with the Special Olympics and the The Inner City Games. He’s also been rumored as a gubernatorial candidate in California.
He’s got a new gig and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. He’s kicked in $1 million of his own money into a California initiative for after-school programs. Proposition 49 will “provide grants to schools to create after school programs that keep kids safe, provide recreational opportunities, and educational enrichment.” He’s even running statewide ads touting the initiative.
Another cool thing you should know: Arnold is related to this network by marriage. His wife is NBC’s own Maria Shriver
We talked to the “Terminator” about his latest crusade, life in Hollywood, the war on terror and his political future... Hasta la vista, Baby.
The show aired at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, Oct. 29, from Chapman University in Orange, California.
Arnold’s official Site
Yes on Prop 49
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT TO THIS SHOW, BELOW
Live from Chapman University in Southern California, a mega star who’s fighting to keep our kids off the streets after schools, our guest, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m Chris Matthews. Let’s play HARDBALL.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: Very nice.
MATTHEWS: Well, you’re well known out here. Let’s...
SCHWARZENEGGER: Very nice. Well I tell you, first of all, the last time I was here at the Chapman University, when I got my honorary doctorate degree. I said when I left, I’ll be back, right? Well, I’m back. I’m back, and Chris, it’s nice to have you here...
MATTHEWS: I know...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... in California, especially here at the Chapman University. It’s...
MATTHEWS: OK, here you ask the questions.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I-first of all want to thank Jim Doti, the president of the university for hosting this event here today.
MATTHEWS: Well, Arnold...
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, Chris.
MATTHEWS: ... I get to ask these questions. It seems to me, without going into details, these are tricky times to live in this country. Why have you stepped into the public arena to take responsibility when so many other people are stepping back and saying let the incumbent politicians make the big decisions about our safety? Why are you moving into the public life right now with this proposition?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, we have the constitutional power in California that if the politicians don’t do their job, then we can go out as private citizens and create an initiative. But every state has this, but in California we luckily have that, and we have been lobbying for after-school programs and increase of funding for after-school programs now for a long time.
If it is the law enforcement community or if it the after-school program providers, all have lobbied in Sacramento, but nothing has been done. So I just took it in my own hands and got together the after-school program providers, the law enforcement community, the business leaders, the Teachers Union, the CDA and the Parent-Teachers Association and we created this initiative that will provide more after-school programs.
As a matter of fact, every elementary and middle school in California will have an after-school program after this passes on November 5.
MATTHEWS: We’ve become very aware in the recent days and weeks about the need to take care of kids, to know where they are after school. There may be dangers out there. There may be dangers that they themselves get involved in. I saw you in Philadelphia two years ago in a very tough neighborhood, and that’s why I believe in what you’re up to here.
It’s not just politics. Tough neighborhood, inner city kids, African American kids with not much money or hope, and you were with those kids and you were turning those kids on. What’s your connection with kids who have tough lives? Why are you their guy?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think it is very important that they know that this is the land of opportunity. This is the biggest and the best country in the world and we have, you know, I have made it here in this country. I’ve seen it firsthand how this is the best country in the world. And I want to have every child have the same opportunities that I had.
I have had a great foundation from my parents. My parents were there for me after school. I had great schools, great teachers, great sports field and my parents helped me with my homework. My mother was sitting there with me to make me read out loud and study and she would test me for the next day’s tests, then she would take me afterwards to the sports fields and do soccer.
My father would take over with the coaching and all this. So there was someone there 24 hours a day for us, and that gave me a tremendous foundation and it created self-esteem and it will make you strong inside. You believe in yourself because there’s someone there that says you are great and they help you, they mentor you, they teach you and all those things. And so when I came to this country, I had this foundation that I could say I could do anything I want, any plan that I have, I can turn into reality.
When I look in those inner city schools and I see those kids going out after school and not having this kind of supervision, not having this kind of help, not having this kind of love, anyone to help them with their homework, anyone that mentors them and tells them that they’re great, I say to myself those kids will never be ready and have the opportunity to use this land that that they have, the land of opportunity.
They will never make it and so what I promised myself at that point was-is that I’m going to go out and make sure that every child has the same opportunities that I had, and they go out and we’ll create more after-school programs, promote after-school programs, and put the spotlight on that issue, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years.
MATTHEWS: Why do you think there’s some opposition to this? You know the League of Women Voters, the speaker of the House, the “Los Angeles Times”, other people sort of raise questions about this. Why, if you’re going out there to try to get the kids to have some place to go after school, a lot of-two parents both working hard. They don’t get home until 6:00, 6:30. They have just enough time to make dinner.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well just in California alone, Chris, you’re absolutely correct. In California alone we have-I mean more than half of the kids come from a home where there’s a single parent that is working or both of the parents are working. That means...
MATTHEWS: A couple jobs.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, exactly. So there is a million plus children at the age of 15 or below that are out there by themselves home alone. Now you know what happens when children-when they’re unsupervised...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... in the afternoon. Unsupervised by a parent...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... or unsupervised by an adult...
MATTHEWS: But why-why is this...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and they get into...
MATTHEWS: ... sitting there?
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... they get into serious trouble...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... between 3:00...
MATTHEWS: All right.
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and 6:00, Chris. The law enforcement community has identified it as the danger zone for children, which means that between 3:00 and 6:00 are the peak hours for teenage pregnancy, for juvenile crime, gang-related violence, kids getting involved with drugs, with alcohol, with smoking, which costs us a fortune.
What I’m saying is, is this a wise thing to do to invest in our children and save money down the line. For every dollar that we spend on an after-school program, we save $3 for the taxpayer.
MATTHEWS: OK, you’re a citizen. You’re not running for office or anything right now at least. How come the powers, the regular Democrats, the big liberals in the state like the governor, how come the unions, the interest groups, the so-called advocacy group for kids haven’t done it before Arnold Schwarzenegger came along?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, you know, it’s interesting that you mention unions. The Teachers Union, for instance, the CDA was the first one to endorse us.
SCHWARZENEGGER: They were all behind it, and they said they were glad that someone came along. They’ve given us, you know, campaign money for this campaign. They’ve endorsed us. They’ve helped us in promoting this initiative, and we have an historic situation here. We have more endorsements than any initiative or any candidate ever had.
SCHWARZENEGGER: We have the-from the Teachers Union to Parent-Teacher Association to all the law enforcement agencies, to the business community, all the way to the right of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. So we have...
MATTHEWS: But you also have people against you.
MATTHEWS: You’re not a hero-you’re not-everybody’s not in love with you. You’re not the poster boy for the League of Women Voters. They don’t like you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
SCHWARZENEGGER: But that’s OK. You see, I let a certain amount of people do the lip service and I’m the action hero.
MATTHEWS: Why is the speaker of the House...
SCHWARZENEGGER: I create the action.
MATTHEWS: Why is the speaker of the House...
SCHWARZENEGGER: I create...
MATTHEWS: ... against you?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I create the action, Chris.
MATTHEWS: But why are these guys opposed to you? Are they jealous of you or what? They wish they’d...
SCHWARZENEGGER: It makes...
MATTHEWS: ... thought of it?
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... all of this makes no difference to me, Chris.
MATTHEWS: You won’t discuss this...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... all that matters to me is one thing, and this is action. No...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... lip service, action, action, action.
MATTHEWS: What’s your vote going to be November 5...
SCHWARZENEGGER: And the kids will have after-school programs after this election...
MATTHEWS: Will this pass?
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... is over. This will pass. We are now 20 points plus ahead in the polls. I know this will pass, and I know that the Californian people are smart enough to know that this is an important issue. We must get the kids off the streets and into a safe supervised educational environment. It is absolutely essential and what was important in this campaign...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... was to create a campaign and a proposition that is bipartisan. See this is not-you just mentioned the word politics earlier. This is not political. I’m...
MATTHEWS: But it is an election.
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... asking Democrats and Republicans alike, let’s not talk about politics...
SCHWARZENEGGER: Let’s all get together and make this pass and do something for the children.
MATTHEWS: OK, let’s take a question. Right away, sir.
QUESTION: Thank you Chris. Mr. Schwarzenegger, your after-school programs I think are a great idea and they focus between 3:00 and 6:00 at night, as you stated before many times, but as we all know for elementary school students and junior high students, we don’t go to school all year. So, what does this take us in the summer months from June to the beginning of September, when 3:00 to 6:00 becomes 8:00 to 6:00, 9:00 to 6:00, any hour like that.
SCHWARZENEGGER: First of all, I want to congratulate you for a great question.
MATTHEWS: And you’re not a politician, right? I want to get...
MATTHEWS: ... that straight. You’re not a politician.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I told you I’m the action hero.
MATTHEWS: That is a Bill Clinton answer.
MATTHEWS: That is how political that is...
SCHWARZENEGGER: I love it. You all heard it. I was compared to Bill Clinton. That’s the first time ever. But anyway, my wife will be happy about that, but anyway...
MATTHEWS: Well you did give...
SCHWARZENEGGER: But the bottom line...
MATTHEWS: ... your box of cigars a few minutes ago.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Can you...
MATTHEWS: There is a similarity.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Can you let me answer the question?
MATTHEWS: It’s my fault. Go ahead. Let’s go.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Anyway, we-our proposition and our initiative we have written in that this will also cover before-school programs and non-school day programs, which is very important before-school programs because parents want to drop off their kids after-let’s say at 6:00 when they go to work so they have a place to go with the kids, and there is someone there to take care of the children.
And also the non-school day programs, which is-which means summer vacation, as you mentioned, Christmas vacation, Easter vacation. We have funds available for the schools if they apply for those grant funds so they can have money for the non-school programs because you’re absolutely right. It is very important-any time a child is unsupervised, they’re in danger.
That’s when those crimes can occur. This is when violence can occur, the drug usage and all those kind of things, so we want to help the children.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Next question-come on up-next-let’s move it up.
Thank you. Go ahead sir.
QUESTION: Mr. Schwarzenegger, you claim that your after-school program will help students increase their test scores. However, other studies show that students that participate in athletics and other tact-consuming (ph) activities often have less time to study and lower average scores.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well the important thing to know is that an after-school program, if you talk about the comprehensive after-school program, it means from 3:00 to 6:00, five days a week, and what it means also it that it has to have an academic component, a cultural component, fine art and sports and fitness activities. So the children are only allowed to participate in fitness and sports activities after they’ve done the academic work, after they’ve done their homework, or they’ve gotten some tutoring in English or in Math or wherever they fall behind.
That’s the key thing. So, education is extremely important and it has been proven over and over that the kids that participate in after-school programs improve in their grades and do much better and the dropper grade goes down and the graduation rate goes up.
MATTHEWS: We’re going to come right back after this.
Up next, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the question of politics, which always rears its head. We’re coming back live from Chapman University in Southern California.
And don’t forget, in less than two weeks, join me for “Countdown 2002”, MSNBC’s coverage of Election Night. We’ll be up late that night with President Bush and the Republicans as they try to win the Senate, the trifect, in fact, that night. They want to win the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the president wants his brother to win down in Florida.
Howard Fineman is going to join me. Peggy Noonan, Donna Brazile and the inimitable Patrick Caddell will join us and we’ll have reports of results from throughout the country-that’s throughout the country.
I’ll be right back with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
MATTHEWS: On the next HARDBALL “College Tour”, he’s out of office, but his political future is still very bright. He’s one of the most sought after speakers in the world, and we’ve got him. Rudolph Giuliani on the next HARDBALL “College Tour”.
ANNOUNCER: The HARDBALL “College Tour” rolls on Wednesday at 9:00 on
MATTHEWS: No lectures, no papers, just HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: We’re out here talking to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Southern California at Chapman University, and we’re talking about his very important measure to try to get after-school money for kids donated-dedicated from the state budget to help kids have something to do after school to keep them off the streets, and that’s going to be on the ballot out here. But there’s a lot of questions. In fact, I think NBC paid for an in-kind advertisement here for a possible run if we can see this picture here. This is-what does it say at the top? Can you help me with this?
SCHWARZENEGGER: It says proposition 49, vote yes.
MATTHEWS: It’s a very handsome picture and I thought that it’s a little air brushed, but it’s a great picture. I thought-you know what...
SCHWARZENEGGER: Amazing how they sell your program with my name.
MATTHEWS: I know...
MATTHEWS: Let me be clever because I know the answer. You’re not going to run for governor, are you? You’re not running for governor, right?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I’m running for the children...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... make sure that proposition 49...
MATTHEWS: I know.
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... passes. That’s what I’m running for right now.
MATTHEWS: We live in a-in all seriousness, and I mean this, I think there are leaders, and I think there are followers, and we need both to make a society work. Right now the polls I’ve read, the best polls, NBC’s polls, tell me that people feel right now they don’t know what’s going on in the world, really.
They don’t understand the al Qaeda stuff. They don’t understand the Iraq thing really, so they’re trusting their leaders, especially our president. What would make a person like yourself be willing to accept responsibility as a leader rather than as a follower?
What would make a person like you decide to be a leader and take that chance and that awesome duty to protect the people as they need protection right now in the areas like Washington?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think it’s a question you should ask President Bush, because I mean he has taken on that role, and he campaigned hard, and he won-he...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... became president. So he’s a good one to ask.
MATTHEWS: Are there times that citizens have to step forward and assume the pain and the duty and sometimes the aggravation of being public leaders?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I mean as far as I’m concerned, I think that the best profession or the best thing to do is to be a public servant. I mean my father-in-law, Sargent Shriver, has said this for years to me. I mean there’s nothing better than working for the people-working for the common people out there and being a servant, a public servant, and I have seen this, a little taste of that by just working with Special Olympics...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... or working as the chairman of President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for three and a half years and now doing this work in the-for the last 10 years for after-school...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... programs. It is wonderful when you do something, because I, for instance, promoted myself for so many years and talked about, you know, how I want to be rich and famous and all those things, but now in the last 10, 15 years, to go and to do something that is actually much bigger than me, a specific cause...
MATTHEWS: Why do you think...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... the Special Olympics...
MATTHEWS: ... those kids I saw...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and after-school programs. It’s fun to go...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... out and promote those causes.
MATTHEWS: Why do you think those kids I saw in Philadelphia a couple of years, inner city kids, African American kids, look up to you? What is it about you? You’re happy with sneakers on. You know you’re wearing running clothes. You didn’t wear the suit. You didn’t seem like a big shot mayor or something. Why do they look to you as a hero?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well I think a lot of kids admire my bodybuilding career and the things that I’ve done in sports. I think other kids admire the films that I’ve done and see a lot of the films. I mean it really depends.
It’s different reasons. I’ve had a lot of kids come up to me when I go on those promotions and they say when are you going to do another “Kindergarten Cop”? When are you going to do another “Twins” and stuff like this. So kids know me from those movies, you know, and all the kids know me, then, from the movies like “Terminator”...
MATTHEWS: Do you think it’s because you’re an immigrant?
MATTHEWS: Because you’re...
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well it’s also that. I mean it’s-you know I don’t go around surveying and asking...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... people, do you like me? Why? And I don’t do that. I’m just happy that people like me in general and that I can use the power...
MATTHEWS: So you’re a lot like Sally Field-getting back to an earlier topic.
SCHWARZENEGGER: There you are. Exactly. I mean I don’t fly...
MATTHEWS: You know you like me.
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... I don’t fly. I wish I could. But I mean you know the thing is you have to use the power that you have-the power of influence...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... over kids and use it wisely and use it in such a way where you can go to the kids and say don’t take drugs, don’t get involved with alcohol, stay away from the gangs, all of those kind of messages...
SCHWARZENEGGER: ... I can tell kids. That if a suit goes into the school and says it, it is not as effective...
MATTHEWS: OK. Back more with Arnold Schwarzenegger. More HARDBALL coming back.
MATTHEWS: I want to say that next week, next Wednesday, October 30, the night before Halloween, we’re going to have another incredible guest on the “College Tour.” From the University of Pennsylvania, from my hometown in Philadelphia, the former mayor of New York, one of the great heroes of our time, “TIME” Magazine’s Man of the Century, I think, Rudy Giuliani is going to be our guest on the HARDBALL “College Tour.” But let’s get to the next question.
QUESTION: All right, Mr. Schwarzenegger, I’ve got a question. What are your feelings about the current situation in Iraq? I mean, how do you feel about being poised on the verge of an unprovoked military action against a sovereign nation?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Again, that’s a very good question.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that the important thing to know is, which is great about this country, when it comes to domestic issues, we all battle it out and fight it between the parties and all those kind of things to get things done, but when it comes to foreign issues, overseas kind of things, then we all speak with one voice. And our president feels very strongly that we should do something about the Iraq situation. Congress has voted in a large majority for the president to give him the power to go to war with Iraq. I am one of the people that is 100 percent behind the president, as we, all Americans ought to be.
MATTHEWS: Next question-I’m, by the way, one of the — 100 percent behind the president who hopes he doesn’t go to war.
Anyway, we’ll be right back with more “HARDBALL.”
MATTHEWS: On the next HARDBALL “College Tour”, he’s out of office, but his political future is still very bright. He’s one of the most sought after speakers in the world, and we’ve got him. Rudolph Giuliani on the next HARDBALL “College Tour”.
ANNOUNCER: Wednesday at 9:00 on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: I’m here with Arnold Schwarzenegger at Chapman University in Southern California. I’m going to ask him in the next block why Hollywood is so full of liberals and how he gets along with all those people.
And also-well, coming up next the news, and here it is.
MATTHEWS: Our guest tonight Arnold Schwarzenegger is a political rarity. In fact he’s a rare breed. He’s a Republican in Hollywood. As “HARDBALL” correspondent David Shuster reports right now, Hollywood is not a town known for its political diversity.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ® ARIZONA: I’ve been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years, I’ve had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job. So I decided to try my hand at her job.
DAVID SHUSTER, HARDBALL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barbra Streisand is not the only Hollywood heavyweight who wants a loud voice in the country’s political debate. Tinseltown according to critics, is dominated by celebrities who want to get rid of the combustion engine, protect abortion on demand, and take away all guns, except those on film.
In 1992, Bill Clinton received 43 percent of the nation’s popular vote, but 85 percent, according to polls, of Hollywood’s writers, actors, and producers. It’s a community that includes Alec Baldwin, head of the creative coalition who famously stated he would leave the country if George W. Bush was elected president.
The more recent crop of anti-war agitators includes Woody Harrelson whose foreign policy credentials would seem limited to rapping with Norm about world affairs on the sitcom “Cheers” and yet Harrison recently wrote, the warmongers who stole the White House have hijacked the nation’s grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist.
Aside from a few stars, like Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck, Bruce Willis and Bo Derek, Republicans with roots in Hollywood are so scarce that even “Wheel of Fortune’s” Pat Sajac is on the GOP’s A-list. Of course there is our guest tonight, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is married to a Kennedy and knows something about hanging out with Democrats.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I always said to my wife, going up to Hyannis Port is like being with a bunch of clones. Everyone thinks alike. Everyone agrees on everything and then so I come in there, and I think differently, and so I think they like that.
SHUSTER: But whether Hollywood likes his conservatism is another story. It’s more difficult to understand why this country’s cultural elite seem to be of one mind when it comes to politics. I’m David Shuster for HARDBALL.
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of that?
SCHWARZENEGGER: What is the specific question?
MATTHEWS: Why are you a man to yourself in Hollywood and so many of the other people are as you use the term clones? You’re out there on a public issue, after-school opportunities for kids. You’re out there doing something that I would consider a pretty liberal proposal myself, is looking out for kids without any hope, they’re not rich kids. Five dollars a day is in your proposal. It’s obviously not for even upper class, middle class kids.
So you’re out there doing liberal causes but yet you’re a Republican. How does that fit in-what kind of response you getting from Hollywood just to what you’re doing now?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, in California-not just in Hollywood, but in California an overwhelming majority of people vote yes on Proposition 49. We have done polls on it. We are 20 points ahead in the polls. The same is also in Hollywood is the case. I don’t call this-not a liberal cause that I’m doing here. I don’t call it a conservative cause. I call it helping our children.
This is why I bring together the Democrats and the Republicans for this cause. It’s the only way we can move forward. We cannot always be divisive and say this is a Republican, this is a Democrat, this is a Republican-I don’t care. To be honest with you, when it comes to an issue like that, I don’t care. The same as when it comes to Hollywood. I’m more concerned about Hollywood having this incredible fundraisers, if it’s for breast cancer, great fundraisers for AIDS causes and all those kind of-I see Hollywood that’s extremely generous and it is giving. It is concerned about social issues.
What their political affiliation is is irrelevant to me. What is important to me is that people work together and get things done. Now I’m used to being around liberals. I sleep with one every night. I mean, so it makes no difference to me. But my wife and I, are we going to do the movie, the sequel to “Sleeping With the Enemy” but anyway...
MATTHEWS: But you know, the-everybody here is going to grow up-they’re already voting. You vote from 18. Everybody here has voted, haven’t you?
MATTHEWS: You had told me this-I read all the clips before I started with this tonight. I know everything you’ve said for the past 10 years basically, I’ve studied it all and you told a great story about how you came to America as a kid, how you decided which party you would identify with. Tell us that story, because I think it’s a great story for kids to hear.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think because a lot of people don’t know why I’m a Republican, I came first of all from a socialistic country which is Austria and when I came over here in 1968 with the presidential elections coming up in November, I came over in October, I heard a lot of the press conferences from both of the candidates Humphrey and Nixon and Humphrey was talking about more government is the solution, protectionism, and everything he said about government involvement sounded to me more like Austrian socialism.
Then when heard Nixon talk about it, he said open up the borders, the consumers should be represented there ultimately and strengthen the military and get the government off our backs. I said to myself, what is this guy’s party affiliation? I didn’t know anything at that point. So I asked my friend, what is Nixon? He’s a Republican. And I said, I am a Republican. That’s how I became a Republican.
QUESTION: I was wondering how you’re planning on balancing your Hollywood career, family life, and future political career, and if you believe you’re following the path of Reagan and Jesse Ventura.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, right now I’m trying to balance-the filming of “Terminator 3.” I was working very hard, while I was doing my scenes, I was immediately after I was finished with my scenes, I would go to my motor home and would make phone calls to raise money for the initiative. I would have meetings to make sure we get the endorsements from the various different organizations, and I would be writing letters and studying the issues and all those things.
So I did all of that. I did the working on the movie, I worked on the initiative, and also I had my kids on the set many times doing their homework on the set and so on. So there’s a way of balancing it. For me the number one thing is always my family. To spend time with my children and to spend time with my wife, that’s the key thing and then after that, it is helping other people, helping children with the after-school programs and all that stuff and I still have a great time doing films but if you ask me the question today.
I mean, I have a greater time going into a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) middle school in an inner city middle school and like were together and getting beaten by an 8-year-old girl in chess than going down another red carpet opening another movie. So my love for helping kids is much greater now than it is my interest in movies.
MATTHEWS: What did you-I mean I sound like Barbara Walters, but maybe I should want to sound like Barbara Walters, but what have you learned being in this world of elections and trying to win this referendum? I mean, six months ago, a year ago you were a virgin to this kind of business, getting out people to vote, raising money, getting on the phone, all of the tools of a politician. Maybe you’re not a politician, but you’re using their tools now. Referendums, elections, get out the vote, TV ads. What have you learned in that that you didn’t know about before?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think that every day is a learning experience. I mean, every time I go to a school I learn something else from a teacher or learn something else from a student, I learn something else from a parent. There’s so much to know when you talk about education. There’s so much to know about what the law enforcement community is going through with our young kids, the problems they get into and how to solve those problems so I learn every day.
But specifically about campaign, one of the things that I was not aware of is how much work there is raising money. Because you cannot do a campaign successfully. If costs $10 million to launch a campaign like that and to be successful with a campaign like that. Because it takes $10 million worth of TV spots that you buy on television, various different networks and local stations to get the message out there, to make sure that the community is getting the message.
MATTHEWS: What do you think of the system that big money makes, money talks?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think it is a very good system because it is a clear indication of how much interest the people have in that subject or how much interest the people have in the...
MATTHEWS: But aren’t your contributors (UNINTELLIGIBLE) they give $10,000 away, or $100,000 away, don’t they have a bigger vote than a kid here going to school. Isn’t their vote worth more?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I would say no, because it’s very important that when you’re a political leader, that you represent the entire state or the entire country, not just Republicans or not just Democrats or not just the poor or not just the rich. You have to really represent everybody. And this is what this is all about, about this initiative. I am not interested if someone comes if a poor neighborhood or a rich neighborhood...
MATTHEWS: But if somebody has the bucks to buy 15 seconds of TV time, don’t they own the people that don’t have the money?
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. No one owns anything that’s not supposed to. The key thing is is no matter who contributes money, when you win, you represent everyone. To me, when I go out and promote my after-school initiative, it makes no difference if someone has put in $100,000 or $1 million into this initiative which people have. I would not treat their kids differently when it comes to after-school programs than some poor person’s kids maybe in east Los Angeles. Every kid ought to have the right to join an after-school program. Every school in California ought to have an after-school program, no matter what the contributions are.
MATTHEWS: When we come back, we want to ask Arnold Schwarzenegger what he thinks about the president’s leadership in the world. I want him to evaluate this president’s success in the world, leading this country. I also want to remind you that if you want to know what’s going on with this show, to get the news, the guest list lineup, the inside scoop on HARDBALL, it’s all delivered free online, e-mail. Sign up for HARDBALL at hardball.msnbc.com. I’ll be right back with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
MATTHEWS: We’re back with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The star of “True Lies” one of the great movies of our time. I loved “True Lies.” I don’t know why I said that.
QUESTION: Arnold Schwarzenegger, we’ve all seen you in “Kindergarten Cop” and “Terminator.” Outside of the movie business, how can you use these skills to enforce the proportion of protecting kids? Won’t there be children who won’t agree with their program and try to rebel against it? What are you going to do, scare them with your after school programs with your manly muscles?
MATTHEWS: Come on up here.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I didn’t know we had a comedian in here.
MATTHEWS: OK. You still as tough as you were a minute ago? He’s right here. He wants to talk to you.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Sit down, sit down.
MATTHEWS: Have a seat.
SCHWARZENEGGER: What is important is that they use-is that I use the influence that I have with kids and over people, in order to get a program like this pushed forward and to make sure that it passes, so a use my star power, I use my power of influence in those things to put the spotlight on the cause that normally people would not take that much attention...
MATTHEWS: Would you show him your muscle again? Show the muscle.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Very good. So that’s why it is important for me to go out there and to promote this and to help the kids to get the after-school program and the key thing also about this whole thing is that you have to set it up the right way.
So it doesn’t just help to be the “Kindergarten Cop” in the movie but you have to be the kindergarten cop in real life and set up an initiative like this the right way which means no taxes and no money will be taken away if any existing programs. That’s very important when you create an initiative like that, not to just think about your program but to think about the total picture.
MATTHEWS: Next question.
QUESTION: Good evening, Mr. Schwarzenegger. What specific course of action do you think that we should take as a nation against the war on terrorism right now as it stands?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, to be honest, I’m not the expert on the war on terrorism, because I think there are people in Washington from the White House to the CIA and everyone else that is-and the FBI, all the experts that deal with this issue, and I think that they have much more insight on what the cause of it is and how it happens and how do we prevent it from happening, so I don’t want to become the expert here. I think it would be very presumptious to maybe come up with ideas. I think they are on the right track and they’re doing all the best that they can do.
MATTHEWS: How about when you’re-when you get up in the morning and reading “The New York Times” and “The Los Angeles Times” and you’re studying the paper and you’re reading about President Bush and how he — every day his people like Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney want to go to war with Iraq. Do you have a sense that that’s the right direction or do you think we should be going after the al Qaeda people who did it to us 9/11?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think we should go after both. The thing is, you have to understand the way it works with the media and you know this firsthand. We don’t really know all the things that the president is doing. I mean, he could be in the morning having a briefing and then giving a speech about Iraq , and-about al Qaeda, how to go after the terrorists and then he could be all day long talking about the economic situations and talking about how we can stimulate our economy and all those things.
You maybe never see that on the news and only see him talking about Iraq. So people think the guy is only talking about war, but not about domestic issues when in fact he’s talking about domestic issues and also about foreign issues and war and how to confront the challenge.
MATTHEWS: He’s trying to get European support, French support, German support. He’s trying to get Russian support, the Chinese support. He already has the British support. Do you think that’s something we should go into the war with as a posse rather than go it alone? Is that worth trying to get that support or should we just go it alone?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think the question always is, should he wait for getting all the support that maybe miss the time or should he go and go ahead with it alone and not miss the time?
MATTHEWS: What would you do?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I’m not privileged to all that information, so I cannot tell you. If I would be sitting in the White House and would be listening in, be a fly and have all the information that they have, I could give you a very accurate...
MATTHEWS: Would you support a constitutional amendment that allowed naturalized Americans to run for president? Would you support a constitutional amendment that allowed people like yourself to run for president?
SCHWARZENEGGER: You know, I don’t even think about that. I know which way you’re going.
MATTHEWS: Wouldn’t it be a better country if people like you and Henry Kissinger who come here and Alexander Hamilton that come here and serve the country nobly and to be able to run for president. Wouldn’t it be better?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Remember one thing, my mother-in-law Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She started Special Olympics. She’s never run for office but she’s made more impact worldwide than any politician.
MATTHEWS: OK, more with a politician who doesn’t talk like one, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
MATTHEWS: You know, I want to get in a question but I have to tell everybody I really root for this guy because he comes to America. He made it as an Austrian kid who became Mr. Universe, the Americans always won that thing. And then you come over here and you get into real estate. You get into movies. You married a Kennedy and all the way along the line people say you can’t do that. You can’t do that, and every time he’s done it. So if he ever runs for anything, I’m with this guy.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you.
QUESTION: Arnold Schwarzenegger, I have a very serious political question that I think the whole nation really needs to know and that is whether you prefer to do big time action movies or comedies.
MATTHEWS: He’s a comedian.
QUESTION: I was just curious what you felt.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Actually, I always enjoyed both. The interesting thing about it is that we-when you do a movie like “Twins” or “Kindergarten Cop,” and you have lot of fun. It’s first of all only three months of shooting and you have a lot of fun.
Imagine to work with Danny de Vito every day. You have great laughs and a lot of fun and working with all those children in “Kindergarten Cop,” that’s fun. On the other hand, doing “Terminator 3,” it’s a tremendous struggle. You work for six months in a movie like this and you get beaten up all the time, you have injuries and stunts and action and all this kind of thing.
MATTHEWS: And all those nude scenes too. You got (UNINTELLIGIBLE) nude scenes, right?
SCHWARZENEGGER: You better not be a girlie boy if you’re going to do one of those nude scenes. You couldn’t do it Chris.
MATTHEWS: You can’t do it. You know, this is getting personal.
SCHWARZENEGGER: So it’s really tough to do those things, but the result is great. When you see the movie, a great action piece there, that people really enjoy. I like really both.
MATTHEWS: Next question.
QUESTION: Thank you. Mr. Schwarzenegger, my question is, the GOP in California seems to be really struggling. What is your best advice for the Republican party so that they could get back on top?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I really don’t want to give any advice at this point because as I said earlier that I’m trying to keep this a bipartisan issue, this initiative that I’m doing, so I don’t want to take it in one direction or another direction and another direction. I think that after this is over, I can start getting into that and think about it, but right now I want to think about one thing and this is to pass Proposition 49 and make sure that everyone in California votes yes on Proposition 49.
MATTHEWS: What do you think about what happened in New Jersey where that weak candidate, Torricelli, they yanked him, and put in Lautenberg and he’s going to win now? What do you think about them doing that out in California with Simon?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I’m not thinking about those kinds of things.
MATTHEWS: Would you be available as a relief pitcher?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Simon has to think about those kinds of things and Gray Davis. They’re busy with their thing, I’m busy with my initiative.
MATTHEWS: Great control. Yes.
QUESTION: Yes, Mr. Schwarzenegger, I’m aware that you’re not discussing the war on terrorism. However, I was wondering, considering that it’s been a little over a year since the trade centers fell, what you would say to those people who are still a little unsure about what to feel regarding the falling of the trade centers?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I don’t know if there’s anyone unsure about how
to feel. I think it was a terrible act of terror and I think it was a
wakeup call for America, as everyone knows, because up until that point, all of those terrorist acts happened overseas. It was some other place in the globe, you know, that we almost had no relationship with it. Even the American targets that were hit, but it was far away from America. This was really the first time that America was hit in a big way, so I think it was a wakeup call for us that we are vulnerable.
And so I think everyone now is working on that, to make sure that we’re not vulnerable. Everyone is doing a good job working together, the CIA, the FBI, the police, local police, the White House. Everyone is working together and that’s the key thing to prevent it from happening again.
MATTHEWS: Sir, it’s great to have a leader on the show.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you very much.
MATTHEWS: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Next week, next Wednesday, October 30, the night before Halloween, Rudy Giuliani, the man of the year. Somebody I don’t think we have to argue about that. One of the great men of our time and we’re also going to have, coming up soon, election night coverage, and it’s coming on fast. Howard Fineman, Peggy Noonan, Donna Brazile and Patrick Caddell plus reports and results around the country as George W. Bush and the Republicans try to grab the Senate and the trifecta. More coming up tomorrow with HARDBALL.
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