California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and state Sen. Tom McClintock
had threatened to boycott the only debate Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger
planned to attend unless organizers switch to an unscripted format.
Cruz and Tom backed down. It's a shame. It would have been fun.
LOCATION: The California Broadcasters Association Debate
PARTICIPANTS: Moderator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, four empty
Moderator: Good evening and welcome to another California
Recall Gubernatorial Debate. Lets meet the candidates...Arnold
Schwarzenegger. How are you tonight, Mr. Schwarzenegger?
Arnold: I was never told that question would be asked.
But just to show my puny coward opponents that I do not need a
script to respond to hard questions... I am fine and there is a
tremendous disconnect between the people of California and the
leaders of California.
Moderator: Before the show we asked the candidate to draw
a straw to see who would go first and Mr. Schwarzenegger drew that
straw. Mr Schwarzenegger, what do you feel it would take for you
to win this election?
Arnold. Simple. I would need to receive more votes that
any of the other candidates or that every one of my opponents receive
less votes than me. Either one will do.
Empty Chairs: (Silence)
Moderator: Mr. Schwarzenegger, what would you tell the
voters how you would deal with illegal immigration?
Arnold: Simple. I would repeal the entire car tax. We get
taxed when we wake up, we get taxed when we go to the bathroom,
we get taxed when we use the toilet paper, we get taxed when we
flush, we get...
Moderator: Mr. Schwarzenegger. I was asking about illegal
immigration Youre answering the car tax question.
Arnold: Excuse me, but the illegal immigration question
is what you told my people would be the fourth question. It is
the third question that was about the tripling of the car registration
fee. You are wrong here. Perhaps you think that I am stupid or
would answer the fourth question with the answer Ive had
prepared for the third question?
Moderator: But you did answer the fourth question with...
Arnold: There is a tremendous disconnect between the people
of California and the questions you are asking. To clear up the
disconnect, when you ask the question, please also refer to the
number of the question you wish me to recite the answer to.
Moderator: Alright. Number Five. What would you tell the
voters that you would do to get rid of the deficit?
Arnold: Simple. I would just have them look at my commercial.
The one that responds to that particular issue.
Moderator: We cant really show commercials.
Arnold: Then how would the voters ever know that there
is a tremendous disconnect between the people of California and
the leaders of California?
Moderator: No commercials.
Arnold: What about tapes from my appearances on Oprah and
Larry King. I gave many answers there, several of which I am told
apply to the deficit problem.
Moderator: For arguments sake, lets say the voters
in question does not have a television.
Arnold. Simple. Then I would have them speak to my advisor
Warren Buffet who has told me that he would know a lot of different
ways to turn around the deficit, if that would be a question that
Moderator: Lets just say there are four or five thousand
people who want to know what you would do, and Mr. Buffet is too
busy to talk to each one and they couldnt afford to buy a
Arnold: Couldnt they just they just chip in a dollar
a piece to buy a television? Even the children who I will make
sure to make a primary focus of my administration could afford
a dollar. And based on the many thousands they put together, they
could manage a television they would be proud of. Not like the
tremendous disconnect California is now under leaders like Gray
Moderator. Just for today, and ignoring the fact that this
debate is being broadcast over TV, lets agree that television
Arnold: I believe getting very close to this being a question
that wasnt given to us in advance but I have never been a
girlie man who would shy away from difficult problems....
Moderator: The answer...?
Arnold: Simple. I would turn around the deficit by getting
rid of it, once and for all.
Arnold: By decreasing it to the point that it reaches zero.
Maybe even less than zero. Then we would have a minus deficit.
Is that too hard for your scrawny mind to comprehend?
Empty Chairs: (Even more silence)
Moderator: Actually if all the other candidates we expected
showed up and with their rebuttals this would be all the time we'd
have. So, Mr Schwarzenegger, do you have a closing statement?
Arnold: What number question was that?
Steve Young is author of "Great
Failures of the Extremely Successful" (Tallfellow
Press), an award-winning television writer, director/writer
of "My Dinner With Ovitz," and former gubernatorial
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