California gubernatorial candidates Democrat Jerry Brown, right, and Republican Meg Whitman, left, during the debate at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 for their third and final debate. Brown is California Attorney General. Whitman is former CEO of eBay.
"I wouldn't have handled it any differently."
That's what Meg Whitman claimed Wednesday at a San Diego campaign stop when she was asked about being jeered by some of the 15,000 women at Maria Shriver's "Women's conference" in Long Beach on Tuesday.
Her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown had just agreed to pull his negative campaign ads if Whitman would do the same. Brown was coaxed to do so by NBC's Matt Lauer, who was moderating a discussion between the two candidates and current Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Both candidates were unsure of themselves initially before Brown broke the ice, saying "If we do it together, no problem. I will do that right now."
Whitman's response was a qualified one. "I will take down any ads that could even be remotely construed as a personal attack. But I don't think we can take down the ads that talk about where Governor Brown stands on the issues." That's when the boos echoed through the auditorium.
Briefly answering questions after her San Diego campaign appearance, Whitman said her attacks against Brown's lengthy political career are legitimate. Whitman implied she had to go negative, accusing Brown of orchestrating $30 million worth of union-funded attacks against her.
"He has called me a whore. They called me a liar. They called me a nazi. And it has been a very ugly campaign," said Whitman.
In an e-mail after the Whitman campaign appearance today, Brown offered once more to end the negative campaign -- while at the very same time, managing to work in an insult. The e-mail concluded, "Meg Whitman has now had a full day to consult with her image makers and political handlers and it's time for each of us to put our best foot forward and end this campaign on a high note."
It doesn't sound like things will be any more civil during the last six days of the campaign, now does it?