This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 1, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Arnold Schwarzenegger has lived a pretty amazing life. He was born in Austria. He came to this country with practically nothing and became a bodybuilding champion, a blockbuster movie star, and of course, governor of California.
His life has not been without controversy, including a recently well-publicized affair that led to a child and the end of his marriage. He lays it out in a brand-new memoir called "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story."
Earlier I sat down with the governor for his first cable exclusive.
HANNITY: It's a story of your life. Obviously attention is being brought to the other side of your life, your relationship, your wife, the affair, the child, etc. From your perspective, why? I mean, you have a beautiful wife, beautiful family, everything going for you, where's the disconnect?
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, AUTHOR, "TOTAL RECALL": I think as I explained in the book, I created a huge screw-up. I had this child, and it destroyed my family. It was a situation where I couldn't even blame anybody else but myself, because my wife was a fantastic wife. She was a great friend, she was a great adviser, everything, great mother. I mean, my kids were fantastic. The thing that I cherished the most, you know, I destroyed by some stupid things that I've done.
So now it's -- you know, for me it's important to kind of rebuild again, get the trust back with the kids, with my wife, hopefully get back together again, bring the family back together again.
HANNITY: When you were running for governor, there were all these rumors that you had been very flirtatious on the set. You've pretty much confirmed that there have been other instances. Weren't you worried that some of this might come out?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, the stories that were out there weren't based on any truth at all. You know, the groping charges, all that. That was all nonsense. I think it was politically motivated. They came out three days before the election. I think the people looked through that very quickly.
But, you know, I'm -- I'm ashamed about that past, the mistakes that I've made, because it was -- you know, it wasn't one of the things were you make a mistake in bodybuilding, choosing the wrong movie or something, were you hurt your own career.
In this particular occasion, I've hurt a lot of people. I hurt my wife tremendously, who doesn't deserve that, and my kids and relatives, all this. I'm embarrassed, ashamed about it, but you can't go back.
The book -- people said, why would you put this in the book? I said because I'm not going to write a book that just shows the success of Arnold, the great immigrant story, but it is a great immigrant story, the book. But it also is a book about my failures, the bad decisions that I've made, the problems that I've caused because of it, all that, and it also has the successes in there. It's a book about the extraordinary immigrant story, but also with its faults.
HANNITY: Is there a happy ending potentially in this? In other words, do you get back together? Does this become a Hollywood movie inasmuch as, you know, this turns around? Without getting too much into your personal life, where does this end?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, you know, I'm the forever optimist. So I do see that Maria and I get together eventually. You know, it takes a lot of time to heal those wounds and to trust each other again. But, you know, I will make every effort.
Maria has been extraordinary throughout this whole process. Extraordinary also with bringing the children together and making sure that we celebrate together when there's a graduation or when there's a birthday or Valentine's Day or Easter, or Christmas, stuff like that. She's been great. The kids have been really great. I'm thankful about that.
HANNITY: Where do you stand at this moment? One interview you said she's not read the book yet.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Now she has the book, yes. I just got the copy last week, and she got the copyright away.
HANNITY: Did you give her a heads-up what's in it? Did you tell her ahead of time?
SCHWARZENEGGER: We talked about it, but I didn't go into details. I didn't get her to get into a situation where she knows about the book and she has to answer questions to the press. This way, officially she hasn't read it yet, and now she has the book.
HANNITY: I remember going out, interviewing you a number of times while you were running for governor. I remember going out especially in the time when you were putting referendums that would have fundamentally transformed California.
California is now on the verge of bankruptcy, not unlike the United States, not unlike Greece, Spain, Europe in general. It seems when people are given the choice of, well, government programs or cutting, they hang on to what they know, or what they have. But ultimately it's leading to a very dangerous path, I think, financially.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think that California has had a history of always spending more money than it takes in. I think Ronald Reagan went through that big challenge. As you remember, when he became governor, he had to raise taxes, he had to figure out how to make the severe cuts that he did.
Ten years later, another Republican governor had to raise taxes, went through the same problem. 10 years after that, Pete Wilson became governor, another Republican, he had to raise taxes. 10 years later, I had to raise taxes.
I was like, I hated it. Despised it. Said, "Arnold, how can you do that? You promised the people you would not raise taxes." All of a sudden there you are there with a $40 billion deficit because the economy took a dive and all of a sudden we had $22 billion less revenues coming in.
HANNITY: Even the car tax.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Exactly. It's a real dilemma and real challenge. It's one of the things that I, for instance, regret. We have accomplished a lot of things when I was governor. But the thing that I was adamant about solving was the financial problem of California to pay down the debt, number one. Number two, to make the deficit go away and to live within our means. I was not able to do it.
HANNITY: We have much more with Governor Schwarzenegger. Is he supporting a candidate this election? That is coming up next.