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2004-09-01

Schwarzenegger Reaches Out to Fellow Immigrants to Vote Republican

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We hear California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking on the second night of the Republican National Convention in his national political debut. [includes rush transcript]

Inside the heavily-fortified Madison Square Garden, the Republican Party formally nominated George W Bush for a second term last night.

The second day of the convention featured a revival of President Bush’s 2000 campaign theme of "compassionate conservatism." Headlining the evening were California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Laura Bush.

Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born bodybuilder, became governor of California in the state’s first recall election last year. On the first night that the major broadcast networks carried live coverage of the convention proceedings, Schwarzenegger took to the stage to make his national political debut

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking at the Republican National Convention on August 31, 2004.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Headlining the evening were California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Laura Bush.

AMY GOODMAN: Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria. He was a body builder, became governor of California in the state’s first recall election last year. On the first night that the major broadcast networks carried live coverage of the convention proceedings, Governor Schwarzenegger took to the stage to make his national political debut.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: My fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party. We republicans admire your ambition. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future and one thing I learned about America is that if you work hard and if you play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything. [cheers] Everything I have, my career, my success, my family, I owe to America. [cheers] In this country, it doesn’t make any difference where you were born, it doesn’t make any difference who your parents were, it doesn’t make any difference if you are like me and couldn’t even speak English until you were in your twenties. America gave me opportunities and my immigrant dreams came true. I want other people to get the same chance as I did, the same opportunities, and I believe they can. That’s why I believe in this country. That’s why I believe in this party and that’s why I believe in this president. [cheers] Many of you out there tonight are republican like me in your hearts and in your belief. Maybe you are from Guatemala. Maybe you’re from the Philippines. Maybe you’re from Europe or the Ivory Coast. Maybe you live in Ohio, Pennsylvania or New Mexico. [cheers] And maybe—and maybe, just maybe, you don’t agree with this party on every single issue. I say to you tonight that I believe that’s not only ok, but that’s what’s great about this country. [cheers] Here—here we can respectfully disagree and still be patriotic, still be American and still be good republicans. [cheers] My fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know if you are republican? Well, I tell you how. If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a republican. [cheers] If you believe that a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a republican. [cheers] If you believe that your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a republican. [cheers] If you believe—if you believe that our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a republican. If you believe—if you believe that this country, not the United Nations, is best hope for democracy, then you are a republican. [cheers] And ladies and gentlemen, and ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are republican. [cheers] But there’s another way you can tell you are republican. Your faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of American people and faith in the U.S. economy. And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say don’t be economic girly-men.

AMY GOODMAN: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressing the Republican National Convention last night in Madison Square Garden.

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