Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) says he regrets using the term “girly men” to describe his political opponents in the past.
Schwarzenegger famously used the term during an address at the 2005 Republican National Convention, telling his critics to not be “economic girly men” by criticizing the GOP’s management of the economy.
“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. It was in my gut. I improvised it. I called them girly men because they weren’t willing to take risks,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview in Men’s Health magazine.
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“They were afraid of everything. Politicians in general want to do little things so there’s no risk involved. But it was shortsighted,” he added. “In the long term, it’s better to not say that, because you want to work with them.”
Critics at the time called the comments homophobic and sexist.
Schwarzenegger did not apologize for the remarks but added that they hurt his ability to work with Democrats.
“When you can reach out across the aisle and work together, you can get much more accomplished, rather than ‘girlie men’ or ‘f–k you’ or ‘it’s my way or the highway,’ ” Schwarzenegger said.
Since leaving office, the former governor has shifted his focus to battling climate change, which led to a partnership with French President Emmanuel Macron last year on the issue.
Schwarzenegger, though a Republican, has emerged as one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s most vocal critics on environmental issues, and the former bodybuilder sharply criticized the administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement last year.