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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Schwarzenegger Seeking Federal Aid for Wildfires

Aired October 30, 2003 - 09:49   ET

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

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIF. GOV.-ELECT: So we just now also (AUDIO GAP)

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and we talked about expediting the funds for the victims, the homes, the homes burned and the businesses burned. And we talked also about homeland security, and we had a very positive, very good meeting.

And I'm looking forward to working together with the White House, with the vice president, with the president, in the future.

If you have any questions, please.

No, I've worked with the vice president in the past and met him several times in the past. When I was the president on the chairman's of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under President Bush, the 41st president, we worked together and he came several times to our Great American Workouts, which we staged here at the White House.

QUESTION: Governor-elect you talked about the -- you talked about how in raw terms how people have been very positive about California. Is there anything specific you can tell us to establish for Californians, why you are going to be successful here in Washington bringing resources back to California?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I can tell you that my meetings that I've had here in Washington again was a clear indication that we're going to be successful with our relationship between California, and the federal government and the White House. And we have had really good meetings. I think everyone is interested in helping our state, and I think that Congressman David Pryor can verify that, that we really have gotten all the help. I cannot go into specifics yet, but there will be in the near future.

QUESTION: When you close those doors and usher us out, were there any specifics that were raised you believe down the road or specific appropriations? Was there something specific that you guys talked about?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Oh, yes, absolutely. We talked about a lot of specifics. And like I say, we will be making those announcements as time goes on.

QUESTION: What about fire disaster relief? Is there anything tangible that you can point to that came from this trip specifically?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think that the key thing that came from the trip was is that there will be immediate response, that FEMA will be responding very quickly with the financial aid. And of course, they set up -- they're now in the process of sending up the senders, those one-stop senders, which is crucial so that people get immediate help and relief as they can get their paper work in order, claims get processed very quickly. So that's really one of the things that we worked on, and it was also Governor Davis that has worked on that, and he's working out there in California visiting the various different sites, while I'm here and trying to get the money from the federal government.

Yes, a team effort.

QUESTION: Governor-elect do you believe the healthy forest initiative might be the key to reduce the threat of forest fires in California in the future?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Absolutely.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: That's California's Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was meeting today at the White House with Dick Cheney. He characterized those meetings as very good. He's trying to get funding for California as we see hundreds of thousands of acres burning at this hour there as the wildfires are spinning out of control. He was updating us on that meeting there this morning live from the White House.

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