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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Schwarzenegger 'sex ban' quip
Arnold Schwarzenegger with his wife Maria Shriver
The California governor referred to his wife several times
Arnold Schwarzenegger told an audience that he got the cold shoulder from his wife after backing President George W Bush at the Republican Convention.

"Well, there was no sex for 14 days," the California governor quipped in an on-stage conversation with former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.

He also told the 1,000-strong audience he envied President Bush and John Kerry for their three face-to-face debates.

"I have to do it every morning over breakfast," he reportedly said.

Mr Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, is a member of the famous Democratic Kennedy family and niece of the late President John F Kennedy.

At August's Republican Convention, Governor Schwarzenegger praised the "character and leadership" of President Bush.

The former action movie star urged voters to give Mr Bush a second term in office.

Laughs

During the 90-minute exchange for the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in Monterey, Mr Schwarzenegger referred to his wife several times.

After saying that he was banned from sex for two weeks, he drew laughs by adding: "Everything comes with side effects."

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses delegates at the Republican National Convention
Mr Schwarzenegger gave a rousing speech to Republicans
"I don't know why I watched the presidential debates," he also said.

"If I want to watch a smart liberal Democrat and a Republican leader argue, all we have to do is go out to dinner.

"They were lucky," he said, referring to the Bush and Kerry face-offs. "They only had to do it three times."

But Mr Schwarzenegger was careful not to offend the majority Democratic voters in California, who are expected to back Mr Kerry.

"I think both (candidates) are doing a great job; it's very tedious to be out there campaigning a year-and-a-half," he said. "You make one mistake and you lose the presidency".

Mr Schwarzenegger said he was unlikely to hit the campaign trail for Mr Bush, although he had offered to appear in the key state of Ohio, where he owns a gym and sponsors a body building competition.


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