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Schwarzenegger May Not Endorse Meg Whitman

Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on "The Early Show" 022510 CBS

Outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has never fit the mold of a typical Republican, is suggesting he may not throw his support behind the GOP candidate to replace him, Meg Whitman.

Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, won the GOP nomination for governor on Tuesday and will face off against former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in the general election. Schwarzenegger told the Washington Post editorial board that the race between Whitman and Brown will be interesting to watch because "they are such opposites."

When asked whether he would endorse Whitman, Schwarzenegger reportedly said, "You're assuming I'm going to endorse the Republican."

In a later interview with the Post, the governor conceded that if he endorses a candidate, "most likely it will be Republican, but not necessarily." Schwarzenegger reportedly said that Brown had done both good and bad things during his tenure as governor in the 1970's and early 1980's.

Schwarzenegger said he may endorse a candidate closer to the November election, but that there are "so many big challenges on the table right now for California," and choosing sides at this point would only make it harder to get Democratic and Republican state lawmakers to work together. Special Report: Campaign 2010

"I feel more comfortable doing that without endorsing anybody at this point," he said.

One point of contention between Schwarzenegger and Whitman is their position on California's climate change law, which Schwarzenegger signed in 2006. It commits the state to rolling back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, a 25 percent reduction, by 2020.

It's "very important to be part of the fight against global warming," Schwarzenegger said. However, oil companies are strongly backing efforts to suspend the law, and Whitman has proposed a moratorium on most of the rules it put in place.

Schwarzenegger talked about his efforts to cross party lines on issues like global warming.

"I think that people elect politicians and send them to Washington to get things done and to be public servants, and not to be party servants," he said. Yet, he added, politicians now "feel much more indebted to their party than the people. That's why you see so many incumbents losing their jobs this year."

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