Jerry Brown pledged that there will be "no mudslinging" in the gubernatorial campaign.
Well, the gloves are off for the general, and when KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern ran into Brown recently during a bike ride in Oakland, the ever-quotable 72-year-old attorney general was quite candid about how he sees rival Meg Whitman, comparing her campaign to Nazi propaganda operations.
Sovern posted his version of the conversation on his personal blog:
Brown boasted about his legendary frugality. "I've only spent $200,000 so far. I have 20 million in the bank. I'm saving up for her." It's true -- his stay-on-the-sidelines, bare-bones primary run cost him almost nothing, at least in California political terms. But he also fretted about the impact of all those eBay dollars in Whitman's very deep pockets. "You know, by the time she's done with me, two months from now, I'll be a child-molesting..." He let the line trail off. "She'll have people believing whatever she wants about me." Then he went off on a riff I didn't expect.
"It's like Goebbels," referring to Hitler's notorious Minister of Propaganda. "Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about."
The Whitman campaign issued a statement condemning the remarks.
"Jerry Brown's statements comparing our campaign to a propagator of the Holocaust is deeply offensive and entirely unacceptable," said Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said the comments were made during a jog and taken out of context.