- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 27, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday gave his first detailed interview on social and other issues, saying that while he is pro-choice and backs homosexual rights, he is against same-sex “marriage” and partial-birth abortion.

Mr. Schwarzenegger gave his opinions during a call to the syndicated Sean Hannity radio show, which also was broadcast live on the Fox News Channel. His comments were his most detailed to date in his bid to replace Gov. Gray Davis in the Oct. 7 recall election.

The bodybuilder-turned-movie star described himself to Mr. Hannity as “pro-choice” but said he does not support partial-birth abortion.

Asked whether he favors parental notification when minors seek abortions, he replied, “I am. But in some cases when there is abuse in the family or problems in the family, then the courts should decide.”

Asked about homosexual “marriage,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said, “I do support domestic partnerships” but added he is against same-sex “marriage,” because marriage involves a man and a woman.

Though his positions on social issues have nothing to do with ending California’s financial crisis, which Mr. Schwarzenegger has said would be his main concern as governor, they are important because they could help him with Republican conservatives, who so far have been wary of him and have supported state Sen. Tom McClintock.

Meanwhile yesterday, CNN and the Los Angeles Times announced they would co-sponsor a debate among the major candidates, to be held Sept. 30 and televised on CNN.

In the Hannity interview, Mr. Schwarzenegger also reiterated his more-liberal positions on marijuana and guns, which could undercut some of that conservative support. Party leaders have expressed concerns that Mr. Davis could be recalled only to be replaced by Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, if Republicans split their votes.

Mr. McClintock said he thinks Mr. Schwarzenegger is becoming more conservative as the campaign moves along.

“I’ve been in the public arena for 20 years. Positions I’ve taken have not changed in 20 years,” Mr. McClintock said. “I am pro-life. I believe in the right of people to self-defense. It’s enshrined in the Second Amendment. And again, these are positions that people can count on.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger did not give a position on affirmative action or Proposition 54, an initiative on the recall ballot that would ban state institutions from collecting most racial data.

The Republican said he is in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, a ban on assault weapons, and background checks on gun purchasers. He also said he opposes offshore fossil-fuel drilling.

Mr. Schwarzenegger also criticized Mr. Bustamante’s self-titled “tough love” budget proposal, which combines cuts with new taxes.

“People have to realize that he’s the same as Gray Davis. It’s the same mold; nothing has changed,” he said. “It will be exactly the same, which is, ‘Oh we made a mistake. Oh, we want to continue spending.’ How can we continue spending money that we don’t have?”

Mr. McClintock immediately took Mr. Schwarzenegger to task for not completely ruling out raising taxes.

“The last time you want to raise taxes is in an emergency. That’s why you maintain budget reserves,” Mr. McClintock said immediately afterward on Fox News.

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