Who could have guessed that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Daily Show interview would focus much more on his politics — and much less on his personal life — than his recent 60 Minutes interview?
Sure, Jon Stewart didn’t entirely ignore Schwarzenegger’s cheating scandal. After joking that he and the Governator would have to address the elephant in the room — 1996’s “dreadful” Jingle All the Way, naturally — the Daily Show host asked Arnold to explain why he decided to release the scandal-soaked memoir Total Recall now, rather than waiting until his family’s wounds weren’t quite so raw. Stewart also evoked one of the action hero’s most iconic characters, asking his guest if he could “go to the future and then come back and kill that Arnold” — the one who fathered a child out of wedlock.
After that, though, Schwarzenegger and Stewart’s conversation moved away from the scandal. In the portion of the interview that actually aired on The Daily Show, the two discussed Schwarzenegger’s new state and global policy institute at USC and his bipartisan initiatives as governor. And things only got more interesting — provided you’re into politics — in the extended interview posted online. Here’s the interview’s televised first part:
In Part 2, Stewart abandoned questions about Schwarzenegger’s personal life altogether in favor of questions about the ex-governor’s unique place in the GOP. “You mentioned stem cell research, the environment, and people. Three things that are anathema [to the Republican Party],” the host joked, then asked how Schwarzenegger fits into the party’s framework.
Schwarzenegger answered with a practiced soundbite that resonated nevertheless. When he went into office, he said, he swore to do the people’s work: “Not the people of the Republican Party’s work, or the Democratic Party’s work, or any party’s work, because I was a public servant, and not a party servant.” His remark drew spontaneous applause from the Daily Show audience. Things got a little less serious, though, when Stewart was distracted by Schwarzenegger’s gigantic skull ring:
But the conversation wasn’t all easy for Schwarzenegger. In Part 3, Stewart directly challenged the star’s economic views, asking how it’s possible for our nation to pay off its debt without raising taxes. There was a little more tension between the host and his guest in this section; thankfully, it dissipated by the time Stewart pulled out his awful Schwarzenegger impression and asked Arnold for advice about how to intimidate Bill O’Reilly. Watch the concluding portion of Schwarzenegger’s appearance here: