Matt Lauer, left, speaks with California gubernatorial candidate Republican Meg Whitman, second left, as California gubernatorial candidate Democrat Jerry Brown, right, and Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger look on at the Women's Conference Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Meg Whitman was booed by a crowd of onlookers when she refused to stop running negative ads in the leadup to next week's election.
It all took place at the Women's Conference in Long Beach. Host Matt Lauer asked the two candidates if they would pledge to cease their attack ads, and Jerry Brown agreed to pull his if Whitman pulled hers.
But Whitman waffled between outright refusal and uncomfortable silence. The negative ads are necessary, she said, to highlight their differences. She then went on to complain about Jerry's previous time as governor, although many of her claims have been debunked as false or misleading.
Whitman is losing by double-digits, according to the latest polls, even as she continues to break spending records. At last count, her campaign expenses were somewhere above $140 million.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was present to smooth things over, calling both candidates promising. Drawing a standing ovation, he also affirmed that his own gubernatorial race was the right decision for him to make, and gave himself high marks for his time in office.
Many observers have drawn similarities between Schwarzenegger's administration and Whitman's plans.