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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Schwarzenegger, Davis Meeting

Aired October 23, 2003 - 13:15   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Take you live to Sacramento now. The former governor, Gray Davis -- I guess you could say -- passing the torch over to the new governor-elect, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: ... I'm going to -- and I'd like to share with him first before I tell the world.

One piece of advice I will at least share with everyone is something my wife gave me the first ten days I was in office. And she said -- I was complaining that everybody was trying to get me to work on their issue, right now, immediately. And she said, Just enjoy every moment. This is the best job you'll ever have. Even the bad moments, enjoy.

GOV.-ELECT ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Good advice.

QUESTION: Mr. Schwarzenegger and Governor, both of you, toward the end of the campaign, said some pretty harsh things about each other, including suggesting that neither one was fit for public office. When you were meeting privately, were there any -- are there any hard feelings -- lingering hard feelings, from the election?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No, absolutely not. I have to say that the governor has been very gracious, and has been absolutely fantastic not only with his phone call the day of the election. He offered right away, you know, to work together with us and to make it a smooth transition and he kept his promise. Every day, we're working with his office. And they're really fantastic to work with.

So, you know, I think that we can continue on with the great relationship here and working relationship. I will need the governor's help in the future. There's many things to learn here when you come into this office. And the governor has -- you know helped me already now, the last ten minutes, as we talked, gave me some good pointers. And we will be working together in the future. And I'm looking forward to that.

QUESTION: Will the two of you talk at all about the question -- the issue of last-minute appointments before the transfer of power? I know, Governor-Elect, you've indicated you prefer that there weren't appointments to make. Governor Davis has talked the may be some made. Will you be talking about that issue?

DAVIS: That may come up in our conversation. I remember mentioning that to Governor Wilson during a transition between my election and taking office, where he made 454 appointments. We certainly don't intend to do that. But we have one governor at a time. I do recognize the need to concur and consult with Governor- Elect Schwarzenegger and I intend do do that.

QUESTION: Governor-Elect, would you like to speak about that as well? Do you hope to speak to him about that issue?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, we will be speaking about this issue. Like the governor said, there's one governor at a time. So he has the rights to make those appointments and do the things he has done. And we will be talking about that, yes.

QUESTION: Mr. Schwarzenegger, some voters would say that there's very little chance to change the way things are in the period that you'll be governor. What would you say to voters about how the Schwarzenegger era will be different than the Davis era, in the time that you have remaining?

And if I can also ask Governor Davis a separate question. You've been a public servant your entire life. You lost to someone who's been in politics a few weeks. How painful is this day?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, I think that the people have spoken, you know, on the day of the election. They want change. And I will provide that change and I'm looking forward to working for the people, be the governor for the people.

So I think that the people are very optimistic. You know, because they know we're in a state that is, you know, the greatest state in the world, the greatest state in the country, and we live in the best and greatest country in the world. And we live in the best and greatest country in the world. I think that we can make this state again what it once was and I'm looking forward to that.

And I think that the people have confidence in me and that's why they voted for me. And at the same time, I have to say that my working in future will be helped by Governor Davis because he's going to show me the ropes. He's going to give me some of the inside information here and help move the transition and we have started a great relationship. And I am really looking forward to working with the governor.

DAVIS: I, too, want to work with Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger. I think part of the obligation of governing is to prepare the next administration to be available to them, during that transition, and then afterwards if they have any questions. Governor Wilson did that for me and I certainly want to do that for Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger.

As for the first question, it's not fun losing elections. I did get elected governor and was privileged to be reelected, and generally, that's enough to serve two terms. This time, I had to win three times in order to serve two terms and I didn't win the last election. But, I accept the results. People of this state want change. And I'm going to do my very best to help Governor-Elect Schwarzenegger be a success because I love this state. It has been great to me. It has allowed me to fulfill a lot of my dreams and I want to be as helpful as I can to him.

And in my private life, find ways to help champion some of the same causes we championed up here in Sacramento.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, everybody.

QUESTION: Do either of you have a message to Democrats unhappy about the results of the election?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

QUESTION: I mean, who may want to fight you, Governor-Elect?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I am looking forward to working with Democrats and the Republicans. I want to bring everyone together. And -- because the only way we can solve the problems is if we work together. This is a state of -- filled with Democrats and Republicans and independents. And we have to represent everybody.

DAVIS: Yes. I want to echo that. Most important things in Sacramento get done on a bipartisan basis. The budget requires both Republicans and Democrats to vote for it. All major policy matters that involve spending one penny require a two-thirds vote.

And the value of getting both parties to buy into an idea is that that idea is likely to stand the test of time, not be repealed when the next legislature turns over to the other party. If both parties are vested in a new idea, it's likely to stand the test of time and help people for decade to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, everybody.

QUESTION: What's your future plans?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, thank you.

DAVIS: Only that I'd like to find ways to champion...

PHILLIPS: Quick and straight to the point. That very formal, I guess you could say, get-together with the soon-to-be former Governor Gray Davis and Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Gray Davis coming forward, saying he obviously accepts results and that the state definitely wants change and will help Schwarzenegger in any way he can for a smooth transition.

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