California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said his love life suffered after he endorsed President George Bush in his speech at the Republican National Convention.
“There was no sex for 14 days,” joked Schwarzenegger, whose wife, Maria Shriver, belongs to the famously Democratic Kennedy clan. “Everything comes with side effects.”
Schwarzenegger made the remark during a public talk with former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta at a hotel in California. The 90-minute exchange was part of this year’s Leon Panetta Lecture Series, sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in Monterey.
The governor spoke about several issues facing California and the nation, and often drew laughter from the audience of around 1,000.
Asked about the presidential debates, Schwarzenegger said if he wanted to watch a smart liberal Democrat and a Republican leader argue “I’d just take my wife out to dinner”.
He joked he was a little jealous of President Bush and his Democratic rival Senator John Kerry.
“They were lucky. They only had to do it three times,” Schwarzenegger said. “I have to do it every morning over breakfast.”
Schwarzenegger told Panetta he was thrilled people were talking about changing the US Constitution to allow citizens who were not born in the country to run for president, but wishes he was not at the centre of the discussion.
He said Democrats certainly did not want “that Schwarzen-schnitzel” to be president.