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Schwarzenegger apologises for racial remarks

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Friday September 8, 2006

Los Angeles- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger apologised on Friday for remarks saying Puerto Ricans and Cubans were hot headed because of their mix of black and Latino blood. The remarks were caught on tape and released to the Los Angeles Times which published them Friday. The controversial comments threatened to overshadow the former movie star's bid for reelection as a Republican governor in a heavily Democratic state.

Schwarzenegger made the comments to aides when discussing California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, the lone Latina Republican in the state legislature, saying it did not matter whether she was a Puerto Rican or a Cuban.

"I mean, they are all very hot," the governor said. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

In comments issued by his office Friday Schwarzenegger apologized.

"Anyone out there that feels offended by those comments, I just want to say I'm sorry, I apologize," Schwarzenegger said. He added that if he heard his children make similar comments, "I would be upset."

"It was an off-the-record conversation," added Schwarzenegger. "It was not meant to be in any negative way."

Garcia meanwhile said she did not find the comments hurtful.

"I love the governor because he is a straight talker just like I am," Garcia said. "Very often I tell him, 'Look, I am a hot-blooded Latina.' I label myself a hot-blooded Latina that is very passionate about the issues, and this is kind of an inside joke that I have with the governor."

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur