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Schwarzenegger: No groping investigation needed

'The people have spoken'

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

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California Recall
Sexual Harassment
Arnold Schwarzenegger

SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that an independent investigation of pre-election allegations that he groped and sexually harassed women isn't necessary because "the people have spoken." He said he is focused on solving the state's fiscal problems.

"Their voices have been heard. They elected me to be governor, and they sent me up here to do the job," Schwarzenegger said in an interview with CNN's Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics. "That's what I'm here to do, and so that's why I'm concentrating on this right now."

Schwarzenegger also said he knows nothing about allegations that his campaign spread false information about one of his accusers, Rhonda Miller, who filed a defamation lawsuit Monday. (Woman sues Schwarzenegger for defamation)

"I'm not familiar with the case, so I cannot comment on that at all," he said. "I have to find out more about it, because this is all news to me."

He would not say whether he would take any action if it turns out that anyone on his staff was involved.

Miller's lawsuit alleges that after she went public with sexual harassment allegations, the Schwarzenegger campaign sent an e-mail to the media alleging that she was a felon with a long criminal record.

The suit alleges campaign staffers knew that the Rhonda Miller listed in a Los Angeles court database as a felon was not the Hollywood stuntwoman making charges against Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger's attorney, Marty Singer, said the suit is "absolutely without merit."

In the days leading up to the October 7 recall election that swept Schwarzenegger into power, 16 women went public with allegations of improper sexual behavior. He told Woodruff he still considers the timing "rather odd," given that no one had previously filed a complaint against him in the 35 years that he has lived in the United States.

Prior to the election, Schwarzenegger issued a blanket apology to anyone he offended, and he said that after the election, he wanted to look into the complaints.

But he said Tuesday that the vow to investigate the charges "was meant much more for me, that I wanted to look into it myself."

He said, "And so that doesn't mean that I won't do that. But the bottom line is, right now, I'm focusing on this, and there is no investigation."

After three weeks in office, the Republican actor-turned-politician told Woodruff that he is "having a great time" as governor, and that it is a refreshing change of pace from his life in Hollywood.

"Every time you make a decision here, it has an effect on millions and millions of people, rather than just making decisions that have an effect on yourself and maybe your family," he said.

Schwarzenegger also said he is "very close" to reaching an agreement with state legislators on a $15 billion bond package, coupled with new spending restrictions, to ease the state's financial woes.

The Legislature rejected the bond package and spending cap on Friday, but Schwarzenegger insisted "it was not really a defeat." (California legislature rejects Schwarzenegger's budget plan)

"It was, basically, 'We're in the middle of negotiations right now,'" he said. "I think there is a way of reaching a compromise. And if there is a defeat, then it is a defeat for the people of California."

Schwarzenegger insisted that the spending cap, which has run into opposition from legislators, was essential in bringing the state budget under control, and he reiterated his pledge to use the ballot initiative process to put it before voters in November if legislators refuse to go along.

Restricting spending is "very tough for legislators to do because they like to spend," he said.

"And so for them to now say, 'Let's put a cap on that ... is almost impossible,'" the governor said. "If they cannot stop themselves, then we have to get outside intervention, which will be the ballot [initiative] in November."

Schwarzenegger said he believes legislators now "know that there has to be a spending limit."

"It's a question of what is the definition of a spending limit. And so we're working on that language," he said.

Schwarzenegger also said he will continue to make campaign-style appearances across the state to encourage voters to pressure their legislators to implement his reform agenda, noting the high voter turnout in the recall election that propelled him into office.

"There is an enormous energy of people out there being interested in politics all of a sudden, interested in issues," he said. "It's very important to keep that alive."

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