Calif. Recall: No Holds Barred

Actor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger greets "Twisted Sister" lead singer Dee Snider after the band played "We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore" at a rally on the south steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Oct. 5, 2003. The event ended a four-day bus trip throughout the state. Schwarzenegger is running for governor in the October 7 recall election. AP Photo/Pool

Arnold Schwarzenegger entered the last full day of campaigning for the governorship as a poll showed his support slipping and more women surfaced to accuse the actor of groping them.

Gov. Gray Davis said Schwarzenegger owes a full explanation before voters decide Tuesday whether to recall a sitting governor for the second time in the nation's history.

Schwarzenegger planned campaign stops Monday in San Jose, Huntington Beach and San Bernardino. Davis was to appear in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, while Bustamante planned appearances in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco.

Davis also used the power of incumbency to create news Sunday, signing a law making California the largest state to require employer-paid health care for an estimated nearly 1.1 million working Californians currently without job-based coverage.

But Davis threw most of his weight into putting pressure on Schwarzenegger. The star-turned-GOP candidate has blamed the widening scandal on political dirty tricks and says he doesn't plan to say anything more about sexual harassment claims, now made by a total of 15 women, until after the election.

"I can get into all of the specifics and find out what is really going on," he told "Dateline NBC" Sunday night. "But right now I'm just really occupied with the campaign."

With polls showing the race tightening, Davis told CNN's "Larry King Live" Sunday that Schwarzenegger "is in sort of a free fall" and could be overtaken in the closing hours of the campaign.

The situation has led to some unusual background noise for Schwarzenegger as he makes the most of the final hours of the campaign.

"Hey, Arnold what do you say, how many women did you grope today?" was the chant at one stop Sunday, as protestors paraded by with signs reading "No groper for governor" and "Say no to Predators."

The Los Angeles Times reported that four additional women claimed Schwarzenegger touched them inappropriately. They included an unidentified 51-year-old woman who said Schwarzenegger pinned her to him and spanked her repeatedly three years ago at a West Los Angeles post-production studio.

Three other women named by the Times said Schwarzenegger fondled them in separate incidents outside a Venice gym in the mid 1980s, at a bar in the late 1970s and on the set of the movie "Predator" in 1986.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh dismissed the accounts of three of the women, and said the actor had no recollection of the alleged gym incident.

Schwarzenegger did not address the allegations during a march to the state Capitol Sunday. Davis "has terminated opportunities and now it's time to terminate him," Schwarzenegger said before addressing a Capitol rally crowd of nearly 5,000.

After the "Dateline" segment aired, two of the women who claim Schwarzenegger harassed them, said they were upset the actor said some of the accounts were fictional.

"That incensed me," said Colette Brooks, who claims Schwarzenegger grabbed her buttocks when she was a 23-year-old intern at CNN in the early 1980s. "He's dodging any sort of culpability. He's dodging these allegations. It's highly disconcerting and runs smack of dishonesty."

Democratic Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Schwarzenegger should volunteer for a state investigation, whether or not he is elected governor.

Lockyer noted the one-year statute of limitations for sexual battery has expired on all the complaints that have surfaced since the Times reported Thursday that several women claimed Schwarzenegger groped or sexually harassed them between 1975 and 2000.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman accused Lockyer of engaging in the sort of "puke politics" the attorney general had earlier warned Davis to avoid.

A Knight Ridder poll released late Saturday found support for recalling Davis might be slipping, although 54 percent favored removing him while 41 percent were opposed.

The poll, conducted Wednesday through Saturday, found the percentage of people saying they would definitely vote to oust Davis dropped in the last days the survey was conducted, from 52 percent Wednesday to 44 percent Saturday.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters, conducted by Elway-McGuire Research, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

The poll also indicates the race tightening between Schwarzenegger and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the leading Democrat among the replacement candidates.

The poll showed Schwarzenegger with 36 percent support, to 29 percent for Bustamante. A poll conducted by the Field Research Corp. between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 gave Schwarzenegger a 10-point lead over Bustamante.

Schwarzenegger told ABC's "This Week" that the harassment allegations and reports that he praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as a young man are "campaign trickery." He consistently stopped short of denying all of the women's accounts.

Schwarzenegger's leading Republican opponent, state Sen. Tom McClintock, called the allegations "very, very serious," but said they need to be treated "with a certain degree of skepticism because it's been brought up so late."

Popular

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download