Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg "a loyal Republican" around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday. Little did the governor know his description of Bloomberg was good only for about four more hours.
Bloomberg renounced his Republican registration to become an independent Tuesday afternoon after appearing at the "Ceasefire! Bridging the Political Divide" conference in Los Angeles.
Schwarzenegger himself has faced questions about whether he would become an independent ever since giving an inaugural speech in which he praised "post-partisanship" and decline-to-state voters. The governor has given further cause for such speculation with new initiatives on health care and the environment that GOP leaders dislike.
But if Republicans in California are worried about their own governor pulling a Bloomberg, they shouldn't be, said Schwarzenegger communications director Adam Mendelsohn.
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"The governor's a proud Republican and will continue to be a proud Republican," Mendelsohn said after the Bloomberg announcement.