Maria Shriver reveals what's become 'easier' since registering as an Independent

The former first lady of California also discusses her brother Tim's new book, 'The Call to Unite'

Maria Shriver is opening up about politics, starting with what's changed for her since registering as an Independent.

The journalist and former first lady of California, who is 65, weighed in on today's political arena in an interview with Extra alongside her brother, Tim Shriver. The two discussed Tim's new book "The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening" which was published by Maria's imprint, Open Field.

Tim's new project is described as a "book of wisdom" featuring advice from notable religious leaders, thinkers, singers and writers in an effort to "light our way in dark times." The premise is to essentially bring more positivity to the world -- something Shriver says is especially needed today.

"It’s a hard time to believe in the best in humanity… But people need to take chances on each other. We’re all hungering to get out of where we are with all the division. But we keep replicating the behaviors that keep us trapped," Maria told host Billy Bush.

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Maria Shriver recently weighed in on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's apology amid his sexual harassment scandal.

Maria Shriver recently weighed in on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's apology amid his sexual harassment scandal. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bush said the idea of people being an "ardent Democrat or an ardent Republican" today is difficult for him to wrap his head around.

"I am a registered independent. I served as a Democratic first lady in a Republican administration here in California," Shriver reacted. "I saw good people on both sides... And I felt that by becoming an independent, it was just easier to have conversations with people on both ends of the spectrum."

Tim said he still believes in "most of the issues that my family represented in years past." However, he's not a fan of the hostility that's been communicated from both sides of the aisle in recent years.

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"I don't believe in outrage and I don't believe in hatred," Tim explained. "And I fear that parties themselves have become hotbeds. Too often it's about who you beat. It's about destroying the opponent."

Maria Shriver opened up about registering as an Independent. (L-R) Christina Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Maria Shriver opened up about registering as an Independent. (L-R) Christina Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Maria said Tim's book "offers the label of being a uniter." She also suggested that uplifting news from around the world isn't so easy to come across.

"I think good news gets a bad rap. Good news is deep. It's complex...Good news raises us all up, and that's what this book does," she said.

In 2019, Maria discussed how her family navigates political conversations at holiday gatherings. Speaking to People magazine ahead of Thanksgiving that year, she admitted she talks politics "a lot."

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"I’ll talk about politics like, ‘Did you see the debate last night?’ Not just to talk about politics, but if there is something going on, I’ll talk about it. But I won’t just bring it up to start a fight," the Kennedy neice said.

She has four kids, Katherine, 31, Christina, 29, Patrick, 27, and Christopher, 23, with ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, an actor and former Republican governor of California.