Arnold Speaks Out

If Brad DeLong were to write this post, it would have been titled something like "Why, O Why Do We Have Clowns As Governors?"

Day 1: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses hundreds of newspaper publishers at the Newspaper Association of America convention being held in San Francisco.

Here are the quotes from the San Francisco Chronicle:

"The Bush administration has talked about what we should do with the people that are undocumented and what we should do about guest workers programs, all of those things.  This is a very important debate. It's necessary that we solve the problems, rather than everyone, kind of, trying to run the other way because it's such a hot issue."

"Close the borders. Close the borders in California, and all across Mexico and the United States."

"Because I think it is just unfair to have all of those people coming across, and to have the borders open the way it is."

"We in California have to still finish the border. That is the key thing -- to have borders and to keep the law, enforce the law."

Instant damage control had to be made immediately afterwards:

Margita Thompson, the governor's press secretary, immediately explained that Schwarzenegger has long supported more border security and his statements to "close the border" did not mean to suggest that the governor -- himself an immigrant to the United States -- advocates an end to legal immigration.

Of course, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continued to be flippant about his critics: 

"They always think they're going to intimidate me.  They have no knowledge of what I'm used to when it comes to protesting.  How about in 1986, when I told the Kennedys in Hyannis Port I was marrying Maria?  Those were protests, I tell you."

The Independent noted:

It was the latest in a series of gaffes and gratuitously insulting remarks that Mr Schwarzenegger has made in public recently. The state's nurses are still fuming at his vow to "kick their butts" because they want to increase nurse-to-patient ratios. And the state's Democrats, who run most things outside of the governor's office, have broken off their once cosy relationship with him, not least because he accused them of being "girlie men".

Day 2: The governor made a personal apology (Associated Press):

"Yesterday was a total screw-up in the words I used.  Because instead of closing, I meant securing. I think maybe my English, I need to go back to school and study a little bit."

"We have a terrific relationship with Mexico.  I filmed four movies in Mexico, I love to go on vacation to Mexico. We have a great trade agreement with Mexico."