After telling Americans to get behind the president's health care agenda, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking it all back. In his annual "State of the State" speech, he said health care reform places too high of a burden on states:
While I enthusiastically support health care reform, it is not reform to push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states get sweetheart deals... Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes. You've heard of the bridge to nowhere. This is health care to nowhere.
But is Schwarzenegger's attack on the health care bill just a distraction? The Associated Press suggests that Schwarzenegger is in denial about his final year as governor and the speech was an attempt to "put a fresh spin on a host of familiar money problems facing California":
After six full years in office and numerous failed efforts at budgetary reform, the Republican governor is confronting the reality that he has largely failed to achieve the fiscal reforms he promised when he took office in 2003. His chances of securing them are waning. His final year in office is likely to be overshadowed by the economic misfortune that has plagued the state in recent years and sent tax revenue plunging.
On a related note, Schwarzenegger's speech puts the kibosh on Ben Smith's half-baked rumor about the governor cozying up to the White House for a quid pro quo. It's doubtful the president will be doing Schwarzenegger any favors after today's remarks. Earlier, Politico's Smith wrote this:
Here's the best rumor I've heard today, inspired in part by the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger has, of late, been saying nice things about the president at every turn...Obama appoints Schwarzenegger to fill the vacant seat and put a high-profile face on the climate portfolio.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.