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Schwarzenegger says he remains relevant

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By The Los Angeles Times
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 8:44 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Sunday that he doesn't think the scandal over his affair with a family housekeeper has cost him credibility as a high-profile political voice in the nation.

“I don't think so, but let me tell you, if the people are angry at me, I deserve that,” Schwarzenegger said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “There was a major screw-up. . I've hurt my wife. I've hurt the kids. I think they went through a lot of pain because of that and I take the responsibility.” Schwarzenegger has been doing TV interviews to promote his new autobiography.

As governor, he rose to be a major moderate voice within the Republican Party. He received a prime speaking spot at the 2004 GOP convention.

On Sunday, he said the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney was “wide open.” He reiterated that he has no intention of running for public office again. But Schwarzenegger chided Republicans and Democrats for not working together to tackle important issues, such as immigration reform.

“You've got to get the people's work done,” he said, criticizing politicians for worrying more about getting re-elected. “It takes a little bit more ... to run this job and to do this kind of a profession.... That's what we need - political courage to go in there and to fix the problems.

“There's five or six major problems that we have in the United States and they need to be fixed and they should stop . pointing fingers at each other because that is not going to build any roads and that's not going to make our air clean,” Schwarzenegger said.

Schwarzenegger's image took a severe blow in early 2011 when it was revealed that he fathered a child with his family's housekeeper. The news ended his longtime marriage with Maria Shriver, with whom he has four children.

Schwarzenegger said Sunday he still believed he was a man of good character.

“I've made my fair share of mistakes and that's what my book is about,” he said. “It's not just about the victories and about the great things I've accomplished.”

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