The Corner

Outrageous Smear

I half-heard someone on MSNBC’s “Abrams Report” last night saying that there are 6 million reasons to vote against Arnold, those 6 million reasons, of course, being the victims of the Holocaust. This has to rank as one of the stupidest and most unfair comments of the recall. Here is a New York Times report today, giving fuller context to Arnold’s comment.

As far as I can tell, Arnold’s view is a very crude version of that of John Luckas in The Hitler of History.

In any case, he’s not a Nazi. Here’s the Times bit. The Butler referred to is George Butler who wrote the book proposal in question. He read a fuller transcript to a Times reporter:

In the portion of the interview read over the phone and later distributed by the campaign, Mr. Schwarzenegger said: “In many ways I admired people — It depends for what. I admired Hitler for instance because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for his way of getting to the people and so on. But I didn’t admire him for what he did with it. It is very hard to say who I admired and who are my heroes. And I admired basically people who are powerful people, like Kennedy. Who people listen to and just wait until he comes out with telling them what to do. People like that I admire a lot.”

Mr. Butler said the book proposal had erroneously dropped a few words from a quotation attributed to Mr. Schwarzenegger. According to Mr. Butler’s reading of the transcript, Mr. Schwarzenegger followed his comments about Hitler’s public speaking by adding, “But I didn’t admire him for what he did with it.” He did not say, “I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it,” as he was quoted in the book proposal and in early editions of The Times.

Mr. Butler said he could not explain the inaccuracy. “I am amazed that something like that escaped me.”

Mr. Butler also read other sentences of the transcript, spoken in Mr. Schwarzenegger’s then-imperfect English, that related to the subject. “Yes, in Germany they used power and authority but it was used in the wrong way,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said, according to Mr. Butler. “But it was misused on the power. First, it started having, I mean, getting Germany out of the great recession and having everybody jobs and so on and then it was just misused. And they said, let’s take this country, and so on.” Mr. Schwarzenegger concluded: “That’s bad.”

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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