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Schwarzenegger: Shriver changed tune on recall run

The Associated Press, Friday, September 28, 2012, 4:00pm (PDT)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife, Maria Shriver, was criticized by her mother for trying to persuade him against running for California governor in 2003, a confrontation that ultimately opened the door to his successful candidacy.

Eunice Shriver told her daughter that her husband would be "angry for the rest of his life" if she stopped his ambitions, Schwarzenegger writes in his new autobiography, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story."

The former governor says in the book that he had decided against running in the recall election after his wife implored him not to for the sake of their family.

Schwarzenegger says he learned later that Eunice Shriver told her daughter the women in their family always support the men's ambitions.

Maria Shriver then softened her stance, paving the way for Schwarzenegger to announce his candidacy on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"Total Recall" will officially be published next week. The Associated Press purchased an early copy.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says in his new autobiography that Republican political guru Karl Rove predicted the 2003 California recall election that put the muscleman-actor in office would never happen.

Schwarzenegger writes in "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story" that he visited Rove in early 2003, when the GOP strategist was a top White House adviser.

According to excerpts obtained Friday by The Associated Press in advance of the book's release, it turned out to be an awkward visit.

Not only did Rove tell Schwarzenegger the recall election that eventually ousted Democrat Gray Davis would not happen, he introduced the actor to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice as his pick to run for California governor in 2006.

Schwarzenegger felt snubbed.

He asks, "How could Rove have been so wrong?"

Rove's office also did not immediately respond to an emailed request seeking a response to Schwarzenegger's account.

Rice's chief of staff at Stanford University, Georgia Godfrey, said Rice cannot recall "any conversation on this subject.

"She has stated many times in the past that she has no desire to run for public office and those sentiments have still not changed," he said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, also spoke about the book in an interview with "60 Minutes" scheduled to air Sunday, as the one-time "Mr. Universe" and Hollywood action star tries to rebrand himself and promote the memoir. CBS aired an excerpt of the interview Friday.

Speaking to "60 Minutes," Schwarzenegger said the affair he had with his family's longtime housekeeper was "the stupidest thing" he ever did to then-wife Maria Shriver and caused great pain to her and their four children.

"I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids," Schwarzenegger said of the affair that led to a son who is now 14.

After leaving the governor's office in January 2011 following a turbulent seven years, Schwarzenegger, 65, has launched a wholesale effort to redeem his reputation in the wake of the embarrassing public revelations about the affair he had with Mildred Baena, a housekeeper who reportedly worked for the family for 20 years. Their son, Joseph, was born just days after Schwarzenegger's youngest child with Shriver.

A spokesman for Shriver, Matthew DiGirolamo, declined to comment.

In his autobiography, Schwarzenegger writes that he also kept his wife out of the loop about his political aspirations for more than two years as he contemplated the idea and conferred with political advisers and pollsters.

He said he put exploring a run for the state's top office at the top of his annual list of goals on Jan. 1, 2001, but he did not tell Shriver "because I didn't want endless conversation about it at home."

In July 2003, when supporters of the Davis recall eventually submitted enough valid signatures for a recall election, Schwarzenegger had just two weeks to declare his candidacy.

With the recall election less than three months away, his campaign would have to begin immediately.

Schwarzenegger said he imagined himself running and winning, then working in Sacramento to solve the state's budget deficit and other problems. He decided then that it was time to speak with Shriver.

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Associated Press writer Juliet Williams in Sacramento contributed to this report.

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