ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TELLS "60 MINUTES" HE MARRIED TWO SAME-SEX COUPLES WHILE HE WAS CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR
Former Republican Governor of California Also Says Karl Rove Dismissed his Gubernatorial Ambitions and That He Still Hasn't Decided Between Obama or Romney
Arnold Schwarzenegger tells Lesley Stahl he performed two same-sex marriage ceremonies while he was the Republican governor of California. He also says top Republican political advisor Karl Rove once dismissed his idea to run for California's highest office and that he still hasn't decided whether he will vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for president. The interview can be seen now on 60Minutes.com as a 60MINUTES Web Extra. Schwarzenegger appeared in his first interview since it was revealed he had a secret child with his housekeeper Sunday, Sept. 30 on the 45th season premiere of 60 MINUTES (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Below is the transcript from 60Minutes.com Web Extras:
Karl Rove Dismisses Schwarzenegger's Gubernatorial Ambitions: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7423810n
STAHL: The sitting governor, Gray Davis, is facing a recall, and you decide that maybe you can run for governor. And you go to Washington - you go to the White House, and you see Karl Rove, the President's advisor. And what did he tell you?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Karl Rove, I always admired because I mean he is the guy that was really the brain behind Bush's election and then reelection. So when we had this afterschool program summit in Washington, which we did together with the White House - I felt like since I'm going already to the White House and have a meeting, I should also meet Karl Rove and chat a little bit to him about the idea that there might be a recall coming up in California, what do you think about that idea? And he was dismissive about it. He said California, first, was crazy. People are crazy. They don't know what they want. And - you know, it is a thing which (laughs) California has a lot of times, you know.
STAHL: Proving he was smart, right.
SCHWARZENEGGER: So he says it will never happen. They talk about it - so many times in the past have they talked about unseating this governor that I don't think it would happen. And he said, "But if you have an interest, which I think you do, in the governorship of California, and if you're - you're asking me because of that," he says, "2006 is the time when you should run. That is the year you should run." He says, "As a matter of fact, hold on a second - oh (laughs), it's great - there's someone that maybe wants to meet you downstairs. Do you want to come downstairs?" And I said, "Sure. Who is that?" He says, "It's a surprise." So we go downstairs. Who comes from the Oval Office down the hallway, was Condoleezza Rice. And Karl Rove now goes (laughs) - he says, "Hi, Condi, how are you," and kiss, kiss, kiss, hug, hug, hug. And he says, "You know Arnold, right?" And she says, "Of course I know Arnold. Yeah, hi, it's nice to meet you." And he says, "Now, Arnold, look at her carefully. This will be a candidate that will be running for governor in 2006. This who - is who we are betting on." There's many ways of - you can take it. I mean, I - there was a funny part about -
STAHL: How did you take it?
SCHWARZENEGGER: The whole thing.
STAHL: At the time?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I took it that I think that, naturally as always, people underestimate you. And that actually I can take this to my advantage, use it to my advantage.
STAHL: He was dismissing you.
SCHWARZENEGGER: And I felt that he was dismissive.
SCHWARZENEGGER: And dismissive of the recall.
STAHL: Did that motivate you?
SCHWARZENEGGER: It was an energizer beyond belief (laughs), as always those things are.
EXTRA: Gay marriage: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7423806n
STAHL: Gay marriage. You for gay marriage?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I always said that I have nothing against people doing what they want to do. If a couple wants to get married, they should get married. I personally always said that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I would never enforce my will on people. I always want people to make that decision. If they want to get married, let them get married.
STAHL: You had a chief of staff - Susan Kennedy.
STAHL: You even called her, I think - this is a quote - "a cigar-smoking lesbian," you once said. And she got married. Did you go to the wedding?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I performed the wedding in the office.
STAHL: You married -
SCHWARZENEGGER: I married her in the office - in the governor's office.
STAHL: Then you must be for gay marriage.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't have to be "for" gay marriage. I'm for that she gets the kind of wedding and the kind of ceremony that I had when I got married with Maria. That she happens to love a woman, and I am a guy that loves a woman, that is two different things. It doesn't make any difference. She should still have her ceremony.
STAHL: Did you marry any other gay couples?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, one other assistant that worked for me. I married them right here in this office.
STAHL: Okay. I didn't know that. Did you know - did -
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's why I gave you the scoop.
EXTRA: Presidential race: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7423804n
STAHL: Let's talk politics for a minute, because we're right in the midst of this election. Who are you leaning toward? How are you going to vote for: Obama, or Romney?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I will tell you when we get closer to the election.
STAHL: You haven't decided?
STAHL: Really? You're a Republican. One would think you would've decided to go with Romney. What - why haven't you decided?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, because I always wait until the time to vote, because I think that the real campaign starts now. Because everyone has negatives, and everyone has positives. And I just keep an open mind -
STAHL: Let me ask you a serious question. Have you ever given serious thought to leaving the Republican Party?
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I've never -
SCHWARZENEGGER: Never thought about leaving the Republican Party. I believe in "love it, or change it" rather than "love it, or leave it." I never will leave the Republican Party.