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Schwarzenegger Gives More Specifics on Plans for California

Aired August 20, 2003 - 19:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We now move westward, give the green light to the recall. The California governor's election remains on track for this fall, unless an appeals court overrules a judge's ruling today.
Kelly Wallace has that story -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, the American Civil Liberties Union definitely plans to appeal.

The ACLU said this recall should not go forward because some California counties would be using the old, outdated punch card ballots. But a federal judge disagreed saying there is a, quote, "strong public interest in seeing the recall going forward."

Meantime, GOP candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's been criticized for not providing specifics, got a bit more specific today, but made it clear he won't be providing any 25-point plan to deal with the state's problems any time soon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE (voice-over): Arnold Schwarzenegger started his first formal news conference since stepping into the race exactly two weeks ago with a charm offensive.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I would have wished to have this kind of a turnout when I did "Last Action Hero."

WALLACE: Criticized for being short on specifics the actor said what he would do to try and pull California's budget out of the red.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Now, does this mean we're going to make cuts? Yes. Does this mean education is on the table? No. Does this mean I'm willing to raise taxes? No.

WALLACE: He showed some savvy as a politician, refusing to make a no new taxes pledge.

SCHWARZENEGGER: We can have a natural disaster. We could have a terrorist attack or something like that, so we can never say never, no.

WALLACE: But Schwarzenegger refused to say what programs he would cut, saying instead he would call for a statewide audit of the budget if he won the governorship. He says voters don't expect any quick answers.

SCHWARZENEGGER: These problems that I just mentioned were not created in two weeks. Nor will we be able to solve those problems in two weeks. And anybody that is out there and telling the people of California otherwise are just a typical politician.

WALLACE: Earlier, Schwarzenegger held a closed-door meeting with his economic advisers, including his campaign co-chairs, former secretary of state George Shultz and billionaire Warren Buffet, who recently said California's Proposition 13 keeps property taxes too low.

Schwarzenegger, who supports the proposition, jokingly reprimanded his top adviser.

SCHWARZENEGGER: First of all I told Warren, if you mention Prop 13 one more time he has to do 500 sit-ups.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And another candidate held a news conference today. The turnout for that news conference, though, dramatically smaller than the one for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Businessman Peter Ueberroth formally kicking off his campaign, unveiling a number of specific proposals, including spending cuts to deal with the state's budget deficit. The former baseball commissioner is viewed by some as a man who could be somewhat of a surprise in this recall race -- Daryn.

KAGAN: With some 140 candidates, you could make a whole cable channel over covering all those news conferences. But thanks for the highlights, Kelly. Kelly Wallace...

WALLACE: Thanks. I like to keep busy.

KAGAN: ... in Los Angeles.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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