tv Arnold Schwarzenegger on Richard Nixon and the Environment CSPAN December 27, 2020 2:00pm-2:37pm EST
>> the epa lodged 50 years ago this month during the richard nixon administration, to mark hewittiversary, hugh interviews former governor arnold schwarzenegger about nixon's environmental record and it influence he had on his career. the nixon tradition provided this video. >> pleased to welcome arnold schwarzenegger, joining us to celebrate richard nixon's founding of the fda that -- the epa. arnold: it is great to see you again. you left me standing out in the rain a couple of times in october of 2003 when you were delayed. i think i heard twisted sister a lot more than you did. happened,ok at what
you grew, you got bigger and better. you, was at the nixon library in 1989 when we are opening it. you came to open it with president nixon. i do not even know how you came to be connected with president nixon. tell us about that. arnold: i was always a big fan of richard nixon. i talk about this in my republican speech at the republican convention in 2004, i became a republican because of richard nixon. i moved to this country from 1968, which was a month before the actual election , the presidential election. i listen to hubert humphrey talk
and then i listen to richard nixon. friend,cky to have this a jewish friend of mine, who spoke german fluently. he translated for me. my english was not good enough. said, what party is he? he said, he is a republican. and then i said, i think i will be a republican. he sounded so fantastic, what he was talking about. he was talking about trade, getting government back, no taxes, decreasing taxes, a strong military, personal freedoms, and i said, oh my god, this sounds so refreshing compared to what humphrey was talking about. he was campaigning in austria for socialism. that is when i became a big fan of nixon.
president, ie became a bigger fan of him. that he so amazing is saw -- rather than the political issue. eventually, i went down to the nixon library and they invited me to come to this event. and i went there for the first time and met president nixon and we hung out together. he took me to his office down there and we were talking about environment, his political beliefs, which were up my alley. and then he said to me, you know, -- he said, you should run for governor. he was the first one that -- he said, you are
fantastic. we took some pictures and had a great conversation. bob hope was one of them. he said, i have to go out and do a speech. why don't you come with me and hang out with me? and i went out there and he gave his speech and it was like 1500 people in the library, it was packed. out of nowhere, without ever he said, here is my friend, arnold schwarzenegger. he is a great actor, a good republican. i did not get any warning or anything like that. -- then, he talked about how i became a republican.
it was a terrific evening and i have fond memories of meeting him. hugh: i remember it happening, but i was backstage. i did watch to prepare for the interview, your opening of the schwarzenegger institute. when you said one of the principles of your -- richardion was nixon's white house had a lot of democrats in it. he had a lot of the spectrum of politics. up, did youpped make sure everyone is represented in your administration? his presidency was successful because he was so open-minded in that way. i think was the first one who -- it isple who can
ideal having a diverse group. people who do not agree with you, but give you a different point of view. because of richard nixon, when i saw him doing that, i believe that that was a good idea to be inclusive. there i hadmocrats republicans there. it was obvious the majority republican, but there were democrats and they were helpful when he had discussions. -- when we had discussion. it is important for me to have women because it is another thing. differently and i wanted to hear their point of view, how they look at the issues. influencehad a good having a female chief of staff and it was an excellent
education. i knew the man's point of view, but i needed different point of views. richard nixon was a great inspiration hugh: before i turn -- inspiration. hugh: he hired me as my studio and that map of ohio is embedded in my display because i am from the buckeye state. the sports festival was the canary in the mine for this country in covid. it was the first thing i remember being canceled by governor dewine. do you hope that it will be back on the agenda for this spring in columbia? i hope that the sports and fitness festival will be back. it will be back in the beginning of march or if they delay it for a few months, we do not know yet. we do not know what will happen with the coronavirus and what
effect it will have. stateas been a fantastic for the world championship in bodybuilding. exhibited sports there. like you said, the coronavirus made us reduce participants and sports competitions, but now it -- not having the sports expo. ohio is a great place to hold these competitions and create a good balance to keep people safe and create an environment where we have large gatherings, but at the same time, -- we have to whenand see what the -- they plan to do that. hugh: i hope you keep it in the buckeye state.
we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of apa today. we have administrator wheeler here. when you are a governor, he became the green governor. it surprised a lot of republican. i was living in california then. isaid, what is arnold up to? did not understand the climate stuff i'm not a climate denier, i just believe in the market. itt was your agenda when came to climate issues that you champion when you were governor? arnold: it had to do with what richard nixon and ronald reagan talk about. about climatemuch change, even though this was information that was given to me when i became governor and i met with the scientists at the universities who dealt with the subject. smog andt was about pollution.
inemember ronald reagan 1967-68 talking about lucian. he did not talk about climate change, we did not know about that at that time. he was a common sense kind of said, i see pollution out there, i do not see a republican pollution or a democrat pollution. i want to get rid of it. the thing is with richard nixon, he thought the same way. i go out to california and they have the oil the most bills. lima spills. he was walking around the beach and had his feet covered with tar. keepingoncerned about the world clean, keeping this country clean, getting rid of fossil fuels and hiding the
things that pollute our cities, our oceans, and our country. to be, it was about that. then, getting rid of fossil fuels and switching to renewable s. later on, it was also the climate change business was going to have on the future. a sign of how advanced those guys were. nixon reagan and richard -- the important thing that you do with this program is that people have to learn about people,ory because most they remember nixon from watergate.
his i remember nixon for those unbelievable, powerful visions that he had it in 1970 already.- had in 1970 how we have tot 50's -- we cannot do it and become more successful and ruin our environment. we have to make sure that 10 we are 50% more successful. but we polluted the air, the gotr, and people overwhelmed with the noise pollution because it protects all of that. he even said, the pollution will have a surprise act. he was the first one to talk
about those things. was amazing to hear him talk about those things. and i read the speeches think it is important for people to know the extraordinary work that he has done and talked about the vision 50 years ago. speech,ou can have this ,f i were to deliver the speech it will continue on with the nixon speech. he was a visionary. that is what i love about politicians who are not just trying to get into office and win. they have a vision and everything falls into place. hugh: for those who do not know, nixon signed the environmental
policy act, the endangered species act, and formed the epa. arnold: in 1970, he formed the epa. this is 50 years ago. that is what is so extraordinary. tipped --person being as mary nichols who i used to listen to when i was in the management district and mary was a young regulator. i am sure you worked with her when you were governor. i am sure mary nichols was either in your office working in your ear demanding you do it this way. what do you think she will do as an epa administrator? to run the resources that were created around ronald reagan. because ronald reagan was smart enough that he hired a scientist, one of the brightest people in the subject he hired to lead the resources.
it was not a political appointment or someone that took over, it was an expert that took over the resources. i thought we should do the same thing and follow through with it. i hired the number one expert because she was fantastic. i got her to become the head of the resources and since then, she has done an extraordinary job. as everyone knows, politicians get together and negotiate and then come up with a good legislation. is one thing to pass a law that we have seen all over the 2015, top 21 in tariffs. the whole sign -- the whole world signed on to reduce greenhouse gases and congress decided what they can do. 70% of the country did not
follow through with their promises. that is a sad story. the reason why they did not follow through because they did not have the resources for it. they need to have an agent who then goes to another agency to discuss the politics. they were able to do the things when i was governor to reduce greenhouse gases by 25% by the year 2020. --ss what, the air resources nichols got it in in 2013. when we passed our environmental laws, and everyone was screaming, is this the end of our economy, look what happened. just last year, someone sent me -- and remember
now we have the strongest environmental laws and we have the number one economy in the mostry california is the successful state in the union revenuesomes to gdp, and we have the strictest environmental laws. it is clear that we can do both, that we can move forward and be successful, but not at the expense of our environment because it protects our environment at the same time. mary nichols is a big star, i hope that she gets to be the because she has worked with the car companies. sensitive, she is a very
sensitive woman. when someone says, mary, we 2012, weke this by 2016 to change the engine and make it more efficient. we cannot just throw every thing away. she made the adjustment. she understand that we cannot do those things from one year to the next. she listened to the automakers, to everybody, and we made the adjustments. i remember when the obama administration came in and said, -- and john kerry said, can you guys change the emissions standards from 2014 to 2018. i said to years is not going to change much. i think mary nichols is
brilliant. to be a persone who will work with the car companies and the fossil fuel companies and do it in a sensible way. hugh: that will be interesting when he gets here. -- when she gets here. nixon's key environmental advisor with a guy name becker. he was a scientist, concerned about air pollution and he was in richard nixon's ear the whole time he was president the way that mary may have been in your ear. sometimes, bureaucracies are not so good for the common person and you know that, even when you do a film shoot. bureaucracy can screw it up. do you think that the bureaucracy has kept up with designs, governor? science?he of peoplee maturity
in government are not smart enough to make the right decisions. thats to do with the fact they have no interest in studying the facts. they have more interest in doing their little republican talking points or democratic talking points. for me, i despise that. the most important thing is that when someone presents to me integration, i may not agree with that, but i may read it. i say, why are they having a different opinion, what is the origin of that? i try to inform myself. today, it is just about how do we go and win a race and how do we make things political. this is not helping this country at all because we now have got to a point where it is so
political. i am 73ple, when i said years old and i will eat less going to be 80% vegan and everyone said, come on, you are becoming more liberal. this is what the doctor is telling me. he did not say i want you to change from a democrat 28 -- from a republican to a democrat. job in doing a great order to keep it up and when you get older, what happens if your arteries get clogged. you should eat less meat. i said, i will do that. i remember jim cameron told me about that. i can never be full vegan because i have to have my turkey dinner in thanksgiving.
throughout the year, i will eat 80% less meat. and they thought i became a liberal. the same thing with the environment. how can you go and say this is a liberal idea when there is no democratic air,. we all breathe the same air. soall drink the same water let us clean the water. let us do whatever is he in our power to keep the water clean so that we don't have to worry about when we turn the faucet on it is polluted water. hugh: i was one of the panelist in the last debate and it was inald trump, marco rubio -- the green room, when we are preparing for the debate, one of our panelist wanted to ask about global warming and i said, i will tell you what each of them rose. -- each of them will say. i think we are stuck on talking points. do you see any way out of that
because there is one set of air that we breathe, it is not read and blue air. it is just an absolute deadlock. arnold: the key thing is that republicans come through with the idea of global climate change. they do not like to use that word. word, younot use this don't have to use this word. pollution, that is what nixon talked about. he did not talk about climate change, he talked about pollution. everyone will be on board with you. in california, i saw how the republican party has lost women because they did not address what were considered issues that women were more concerned about
then guys because they wanted to protect the family. they were more interested in california air, about pollution, health care, they were concerned about education the republican party in california did not address those issues. theremocrats made it thing. i am worried that this is what is going to happen nationwide when those republican parties do not address those issues. be people's issues. i would say to republicans, in order not to say i caved into anything, i will say, i believe in global climate change and i want to give it a solution. hugh: would you be willing to serve in a biden administration? told memy mother in law a long time ago, never turn down a president.
absolutely, i would. i made it clear to the biden administration that i am not looking for a job or anything, but i would be more than happy to help anywhere i can. toh: would you be willing run in the senate in 2024. they will have a special election in 2022. arnold: i will tell you one year, in this coming have already signed an agreement in a tv series, which is kind of like a true lies tv series about being a spy with comedy and action, which i am looking forward to. i'm not looking forward to another political job. i just want to be helpful. that is why we created the schwarzenegger institute and have the symposium and
gatherings where the brightest minds come together and talk about this important issue. if it is pollution, if it is health care, universal health care, or if it is political reform, immigration reform, any of those issues we discussed their, or inequality, which is another important issue, these are the things that i am interested in. use my celebrity power to further those kinds of issues rather than furthering anything that is related to politics. in the way of good policies. hugh: now independents can run statewide. it is a jungle primary, it is whoever comes in first and second. are you interested in the senate at all?
that was not a no. arnold: i have no interest in running for senate. hugh: wrong answer. but ok. us about the future for movies for you grade i see conan is in production. there are a lot of things you can do. what are you going to do beside the tv show? arnold: i am doing an animated right now. we are doing an animated tv show series which is for kids. it is a superhero, kindergarten, kind of like the idea of kindergarten cops, but making it with kids. becoming in the future, superheroes, the batman, the super women's, and now they are like five years old now and i will teach them how to use their powers for something good rather
than for something evil. this is a lot of fun and i am doing the voiceover for that. ended up teaching that. i am kind of an x superhero myself and now i am teaching those kindergarten kids. hugh: let me close on politics. as the republican party in california dead? arnold: no. potentially no. if there is leadership there, they can come back. to face the issues facing california. californians are an interesting mix of people and i have found
thathen i was governor they can be very conservative in some ways, like in voting for capital punishment, but at the same time, they are liberal in other ways. for example, with environmental issues, you can see clearly that they are very concerned about pollution, concerned about keeping the state clean, the country clean, and keeping the world clean. in education, they are concerned about education. i talked aboutue earlier where the republican party needs to address and come to the center rather than being out there way to the right. be way yankee to the right is fine, but you need to have a that nixon always talked
about and that would make those candidates appealing. that is why those candidates became president because if you look at -- they have shown the way to the republic -- the republican party of california. reagan,alked to ronald -- when i talked to nancy she has hersaid, own opinion about it. pete, he willto tell you the same thing. nixon,u talk to richard i am sure he fought with them. every one of those guys has their own little problems with departing because they were so partye -- with the because they were so extreme. that is why you see now the and it is ae mature
a statecause it is not well it you have maturity. -- it is better when there is a balance because that is what makes it competitive. hugh: arnold: competition is what creates excellence. that is why we need competition in the state to get rid of some of this stupid dialogue about tax increases and about business. do not destroy the state. that is keep it the way it is. -- let us keep it the way it is. we do not need more regulations, tax increases, let us just move forward but we are the number one state in the union. do not chase people out of the state.
that is what is going on right now. hugh: let me close with this. there is a new exhibit at the nixon library about how presidents always stay friendly with each other. there is a governor's club and you are in it. pete is in it. i think that newsom is doing as good as he can. he accused you of becoming a democrat. i think he is doing the best he can with the virus. what do you think? think that pete and honored that you reached out to us and asked us to be a part of this team and give them advice on how to move forward without coronavirus. we had meetings with him and talk about all of these issues. i think it was smart. i think he did as well as he can.
he had a debacle at the french laundry, which did not help him. because, you are telling us what to do and you go ahead and do what you want. that is the big problem with politicians. .hey have fallen into this trap like nancy pelosi getting her mask. -- nancy pelosi getting her hair done without her mask. those things happen. people,ns to me, other so i do not look at that as a big issue. it is important to clean that up, but we have two buckle down. a vaccine will come out and be distributed and we have to do everything we can to protect
lives. that is the state's responsibility. need to protect lives and save peoples lives. that is what he is trying to do and it is tough to please everybody. there are always those people -- now you do not have your personal rights. someoneas you affect else's life, by giving someone else the coronavirus and that person may die, from that point on, you do not have the right to do whatever you want. it is the same thing as a stop sign. we have that sign there because we want used to stop -- we want you to stop. you do not have the right to go and do whatever you want. to be considerate to other people and selfish to other people, it is selfish to just think about yourself and your rights.
people go to the extreme although i do think we have our rights. in this case, it affects other people so we have to buckle down and be considerate toward other people. hugh: i hope we see you at the nixon library when we reopen. ofppreciate you being part the commemoration of richard nixon starting the epa 50 years ago today. arnold: it has been a great pleasure. you, i urge all of you and tell the world about how great richard nixon was and what great policies he implemented. and about what a visionary he was in so many areas. do not just think about watergate, think about the great work that he has done. he was an extraordinary man. president trump and all of those guys have to go and look at that
presidency carefully and learn from that, how to be inclusive and have a vision for the future. hugh: thank you, governor. arnold: absolutely. thank you very much. >> the epa launched 50 years ago this month during the richard nixon administration. next, the nixon foundation marks the anniversary with this panel discussion featuring two former epa administrator's. we will look at past achievements and future endeavors of the agency. the nixon foundation provides the video. >> i am pleased to welcome everyone to the nixon foundation. we are celebrating on december tax -- december 2. nixon signed an order that got the agency into being. we have assembled a great panel of experts who are here to talk about the past years. i am pleased