Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman received high-profile support in appearances in Escondido and Fullerton Saturday, with former Gov. Pete Wilson and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney stumping for her.
In Fullerton, Whitman appeared in the courtyard of the mission-style Villa Del Sol complex where she made her candidacy official in September. Like that event, several hundred people stood under the baking sun to listen to the candidate.
Wilson preceded Romney and called Whitman a threat to public employee unions, warning, "They have a very good reason to be scared to death of Meg Whitman." Whitman has pledged to cut state employee numbers by 40,000 people.
The former governor also went after Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, saying, "He's the one who signed the bill that created those unions that made your taxes go so high."
Romney followed, predicting that Whitman would revive a state economy that has seen better days, bemoaning, "California used to be the job capital of the country. it's not now."
Whitman gave her stump speech, hardly mentioning Republican rival Steve Poizner, except to mention "my opponent's commercials." The most recent Field Poll found Whitman leading Poizner by 26 percentage points.
Whitman summed up much of her campaign platform, pledging to cut state spending, fix education and create jobs and saying, "The truth is we have to run our state a bit more like a business."
Most of all, Whitman exuded confidence, telling her crowd, "We're coming down to the short strokes, aren't we? Three days! And we're doing real well in the polls."
Photo by Jack Chang