Schwarzenegger said. "McCain is known for being the Great Reformer."
Among the supporters at the press conference were Beverly Morrow,
past president of the La Crescenta Valley Republican Women, and
Marcia Tookey, Vice President of the Los Angeles County Federation of
"We were having a [executive committee] meeting this morning and
they called so we adjourned to join the press conference," Morrow
They all wore T-shirts with REFORM-REBUILD emblazoned on the
Tookey believes McCain's foray into California politics is an
indication that he plans to mount another run for the White House.
"I think he shows all the signs of a candidate," she said.
McCain, who has often been contentious with his own party leaders,
addressed the obvious question of why he is sticking his nose in
"I have been campaigning for reform efforts all over the country,"
McCain said. "We all know that when something happens in California
it has an effect on what we do."
As for a presidential run, McCain did not commit or rule it out
but did say California has been left out of the presidential
landscape for too long.
"The Republican Party cannot ignore the state of California for a
long time," McCain said. "We can't write off California on every
"If we decide the illegal immigration issue in a Judeo-Christian
manner we'll be competitive for the Hispanic vote."
Schwarzenegger tried to make McCain sound like a presidential
candidate that could draw the attention of California voters.
"A responsible leader represents everyone regardless of party
affiliation," Schwarzenegger said.
He gave a playful jab that underscored his point when he said
California still steals water from Arizona.
McCain said the gerrymandering was so strong in California that it
was easier to lose a "Politburo in Havana" than for an incumbent to
lose an election in California.
"When you have unchallenged politicians it drives people to
positions of extreme," McCain said.
"I believe the system needs to be reformed," McCain said. "[Former
California Gov. Gray] Davis' money is proof of a system that needs to
be reformed. I think the governor played by the rules of the game. Do
I like the game? No. But [Schwarzenegger] shouldn't have to play with
one arm tied behind his back."
Far from being a rubber stamp organization, the executive
committee of the Los Angeles County Federation of Republican Women
analyzes legislation before endorsing it, Tookey said.
"We have to read props and decide how we will vote," Tookey said.
"We debate them and people speak for and against them and we make up
our own minds. Sometimes we agree with our party and sometimes we
don't but with these we are solidly behind the governor."
About 30 protesters lined Hollywood Way in front of the hotel
waving signs that read "Schwarzenegger must go" or "No On Prop 75."
Nurses wearing blue scrubs waved signs that read "Nurses Heal."
Some drivers honked their support as they drove by.