Schwarzenegger Praises Bush, Decries Pessimism Of "Economic Girlie Men"
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the GOP convention last night during prime time. Early reaction to the governor's speech was positive, with ABC News political director Mark Halperin saying, "I mean no disrespect to the film classic 'Twins' or to 'Kindergarten Cop,' but I think he has already shown he is a better politician than he ever was an actor." Jacque Reid of BET Nightly News said on CNN's Larry King Live that Schwarzenegger "gave a strong speech tonight, maybe not as strong as [former New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani last night, but still strong nonetheless."
In his speech, Schwarzenegger lavished praise on President Bush's leadership, but the part of his speech that has received the most attention is when he quipped: "To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie men." This morning, ABC News Radio called the governor's comment a "trademark line," noting that "the same comment caused some controversy during the budget battle in California."
The Los Angeles Times reports Schwarzenegger "wrapped President Bush in his brawny embrace tonight," despite the fact that "the two men have not had the closest political relationship Schwarzenegger has criticized Bush for not paying enough attention to California and has kept a studied distance from his reelection effort." But "that was not easy to tell as Schwarzenegger, making his national political debut, warmly praised the president." The Wall Street Journal, however, adds that "despite Mr. Schwarzenegger's praise of Mr. Bush, he's been cautious so far in promoting the president's re-election. The two have appeared together in California," but Schwarzenegger "has sent mixed signals about campaigning for Mr. Bush outside California."
Schwarzenegger's Speech May Have Drawn More Viewers Than Kerry's.
According to Bloomberg , Schwarzenegger's address to the Republican National Convention "may have drawn more television viewers than Democrat John Kerry's acceptance speech, helping to boost support for President George W. Bush among undecided voters." Schwarzenegger's speech "may boost ratings by 20 percent over the last Republican convention, said Steve Sternberg, director of audience analysis at Magna Global USA in New York. That may propel the Republicans' ratings for the whole convention past the Democrats for the first time in 28 years." However, Bloomberg does not offer any hard data to back up its assertion.