Coming soon: Schwarzenegger's transition team
California governor-elect says no more movies for now
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters at his first news conference as California governor-elect Wednesday that the members of his full transition team will be announced Thursday.
U.S. Rep. David Dreier, named head of the transition team earlier in the day, will make the announcement.
Schwarzenegger, 56, answered a wide range of questions, from where he will live to which spending cuts to repair the state's troubled budget Californians should expect.
Schwarzenegger told the large crowd of journalists that he's still researching many issues, including the budget. He said he will order a complete audit of California's budget to "go line-by-line" looking for waste.
"We don't really know what the current operating deficit it is," Schwarzenegger said. He explained that estimates of the budget's deficit have ranged during the campaign from $6 billion to $10 billion.
He said he learned Wednesday morning that if a pending lawsuit regarding a bond issue is decided negatively, the operating deficit could be as high as $20 billion.
Schwarzenegger, an Austria-born bodybuilder who came to this country and made a fortune in the movies, will take office sometime in mid to late November, once election results are certified. (Austrians cheer on their man; Biography: Arnold Schwarzenegger)
The governor-elect faces a formidable task: Bringing California's fiscal house in order, working with a Democratic-controlled Legislature and healing political wounds incurred in the intense, two-month recall campaign. California is the nation's most populous state and its economy ranks among the top 10 in the world. (Politicians' reactions; Gallery: Reactions to the results)
Schwarzenegger said he has not decided if he will live in Sacramento but made it clear that he plans to travel often. He also said that being governor "is my full-time job."
"There will be no time for movies or anything else. I am very serious about this job," he said.
To open his press conference, he repeated many of the same themes from his victory speech, including how honored he is to have earned the trust of Californians.
"California has given me the greatest gift of all," Schwarzenegger said Tuesday night. "You've given me your trust by voting for me."(Schwarzenegger speech, Schwarzenegger thanks voters for their trust)
California voters, angry over a lackluster economy and disenchanted with Democratic Gov. Gray Davis' leadership style, cut short his second term, recalling him less than a year after his re-election.
With 100 percent of the state's precincts reporting, voters approved the recall of Davis 55 percent to 45 percent, and Schwarzenegger, a Republican, led his nearest challenger, Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamanate, by more than 1 million votes. Conservative GOP state Sen. Tom McClintock was a distant third.(Results; Interactive: Voter turnout in California)
Schwarzenegger's victory was much more decisive than many political observers had predicted and there were no reports of widespread ballot confusion or problems, as some had feared.
And, despite some pre-election statements, there was no indication Wednesday of any move afoot to challenge the recall in court. (On the Scene: Bob Franken)
Schwarzenegger listed a number of people who called him Wednesday to congratulate him, including Nelson Mandela, George H. W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush.
President Bush is scheduled to raise money for his own re-election campaign in California next week, and other White House aides said it is all but certain the two men will meet during that trip.
The recall campaign ended with something of a Hollywood finish.(Gallery: Celebrities who have gone into politics)
Comedian Jay Leno introduced Schwarzenegger at his victory rally with jokes and on the stage were members of the storied Democratic Kennedy clan. Schwarzenegger is married to Maria Shriver, a niece of President Kennedy.
Schwarzenegger made a point of thanking his wife for her support and for the "many votes" she helped him secure.
Shriver defended her husband in the face of late-breaking allegations that Schwarzenegger, over a period of three decades, had groped women and sexually harassed them.(Full story)
Schwarzenegger both apologized for what he described as bad behavior and disputed some of the allegations, but he was never specific. He also refuted published reports that he had some Nazi sympathies.(Full story)
Despite the allegations, CNN exit polls showed that about 43 percent of female voters backed him. Men voted heavily for Schwarzenegger, according to those exit polls. (Full story)
A whopping 72 percent of those who voted Tuesday said they disapproved of Davis' job performance, according to the exit polls, with only 27 percent giving the incumbent a positive approval rating.
Davis, 60, becomes the first governor to be recalled from office since 1921, when North Dakota voters ousted Gov. Lynn Frazier.
Schwarzenegger will assume office within 10 days of the official vote certification, which must be completed by November 15, according to the state elections code. The outcome gives the GOP control of the country's four most-populous states heading into the 2004 presidential election. (Interactive: What happens next?)
Bustamante will remain in office as California's lieutenant governor under Schwarzenegger.
Tuesday's election was the climax of one of the strangest episodes in recent U.S. political history. The race was chock full of colorful characters, including former sitcom stars, a star of adult films and a publisher of a pornographic magazine
Election officials reported heavy turnout throughout the day, in addition to more than 2.2 million previously cast absentee ballots, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley said. (Gallery: Scenes from the vote)
"People were angry at the governor," Art Torres, chairman of the state's Democratic Party, said in explaining the results.
California voters also defeated two propositions, including Proposition 54, a ballot measure that would have prohibited the state from collecting data about race. (Full story)
The proposition will be shot down by a 2-to-1 margin, according to CNN estimates.