Senator Bulworth vs. the Terminator
Warren Beatty, Schwarzenegger trade political barbs
By Bill Schneider
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was called "an old-fashioned politician" by Beatty.
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LOS ANGELES, California -- It's the Hollywood Smackdown: Senator Bulworth takes on the Terminator.
And its the political Play of the Week
After liberal movie star Warren Beatty criticized Republican actor-turned-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a commencement speech last spring, the governor called him names.
"Arnold has had his spokesman call me a crackpot. That was a mistake," Beatty said.
Beatty fired back Thursday in a speech to the California Nurses Association.
"The definition of a Schwarzenegger Republican is a Bush Republican who says he's a Schwarzenegger Republican," Beatty said.
The nurses were thrilled. "Run, Warren, Run," they chanted, because the governor has been calling them names, too.
"Pay no attention. These are special interests," Schwarzenegger said after nurses organized by the nurses association picketed his Conference on Women last year. "I kick their butts."
Schwarzenegger has proposed measures that California nurses, firefighters and teachers say threaten their livelihoods. So they're fighting back with ads.
"He referred to us as special interests," one ad says. "That was very insulting."
The unions have done something remarkable: they're bringing the mighty governor down. Down to 36 percent in the polls.
How did that happen?
After the governor started picking fights with public employees and raising campaign contributions from big business, his adversaries started calling him a rude name.
"I'm not calling him a crackpot," Beatty, who played the suddenly honest politician Jay Bulworth in the 1998 film of the same name, said Thursday. "I'm calling him an old-fashioned politician."
Worse, an out-of-touch politician.
"If he thinks there are not two Americas, I call on him to talk with the 170 nurses you've sent to New Orleans and Mississippi and Texas," Beatty said.
Schwarzenegger is dismissive of Beatty: "He does his thing, and it's perfectly fine with me. He can do all the speeches that he wants."
The governor told The Associated Press, ``I just think that maybe he is jealous that I did jump in.''
Beatty, apparently, is not jumping in.
"I believe if a private citizen is able to affect public opinion in a constructive way, he doesn't have to be an elected public servant to perform a public service," Beatty said.
One thing is certain: the name calling will go on.
"He says he's not in this for the short run," Beatty told the nurses association. "It's important to show him neither are we."
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