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Schwarzenegger praises hard work, dismisses 'girly men'

Former California governor and Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at an event in Toronto, Ont. Wednesday, January 26, 2011.

Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press/Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lectured a Toronto audience of about 1,600 on the merits of hard work on Wednesday.

The appearance wound up a cross-Canada tour in which he gave his first speeches since completing two terms as governor.

On the challenges he faced governing a state hit hard by recession, Mr. Schwarzenegger explained: "Doing a budget is like making sausage - you don't want to watch it."

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As he had in speeches in Calgary and Winnipeg the day before, the former actor and champion bodybuilder referred to other politicians as "girly men" who are often afraid to go beyond the status quo. He said some believed the state's economy would make a sudden improvement, but that he made budget cuts because he is a realist.

Throughout his hour-long talk, Mr. Schwarzenegger spoke at length about how hard he had worked throughout his life. He said he is often annoyed by students who complain about increased costs of education; he suggested they get jobs, as he had.

On infrastructure, he said he agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama's push for increased infrastructure spending. "Our infrastructure is aging," Mr. Schwarzenegger said.

He dodged questions about whether fellow Republican Sarah Palin has the qualifications to become president, saying he didn't want to make headlines.

He called the United States the most wonderful country in the world, adding that he owes it all of his successes.

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