Schwarzenegger explained his abscence to the media and politicians assembled at a downtown Washington ballroom.
"He's just not that into you," he said, referring to the book and movie with that title.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm got in a few partisan digs at the former actor and fellow governor. She asked him which of his movies best prepared him to deal with a party led by radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
The choices she offered him? "True Lies" or "Kindergarten Cop."