LOS ANGELES – He says the only thing he's pushing right now is his next film, but Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) gave a campaign-style speech to an anti-tax group and made a quip about Gov. Gray Davis.
The 55-year old star of the Terminator movies, who spoke to a taxpayer advocacy group Tuesday night, brushed off questions about his possible run for governor.
"I'm telling you right now that I'm just thinking about Terminator and not about anything else," he told The Associated Press.
But in his speech to the conservative group Club for Growth (search), he said that the time is right for another revolution at California's voting booths. The gathering was to honor the 25th anniversary of Proposition 13, the state's 1978 tax revolt initiative that inspired a national movement.
"Our elected officials in Sacramento are facing a budget crisis unseen in this state since the Great Depression, and it was entirely avoidable," Schwarzenegger said. "Teachers are getting pink slips, cops are getting laid off and the taxpayers are facing an increase in taxes and California's future is in danger."
His political advisers have said Schwarzenegger will decide whether to run after the July 2 release of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (search), and only then if it becomes clear that an effort under way to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis will qualify for the ballot.
The actor mentioned the recall only indirectly in his speech, quipping at one point that he had forgotten the governor's name, "but I know that you will help me recall him."
Supporters need to collect nearly 900,000 voter signatures by Sept. 2 to get the recall on the ballot. The most likely date for such an election would be March 2004. If supporters can gather the signatures by mid-July, however, they would have a shot at getting a special election scheduled in the fall.