Brown made his comments during his weekly talk with San Francisco radio station KGO, which visited diverse subjects ranging from Whitman's campaign tactics to his first gubernatorial stint from 1975 to 1983.
Listen to the interview here. His comments start at the 14:45 mark.
Asked about the poll, Brown noted that his lead had widened compared to previous other polls although Whitman has been running negative TV ads against him for about a week while Brown has spent virtually nothing. One union-backed independent expenditure committee, however, has been running negative TV ads against Whitman.
"She's been on the air," Brown said. "I think she's spent almost $6 million on television, and she hasn't moved a point. In fact, I think she lost a point. So what seems to be happening is the credibility of the Republican candidate has really deteriorated and suffered some real blows because of the Poizner campaign," referring to defeated Republican primary gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner.
"And then, her continuing being on the air, at some point, people say, 'Gee, enough already. I mean this is the summer. The kids are out of school. Let's kind of have a normal life. Do we have to listen to this ad every hour?' And it's the same old stuff, and I think people aren't believing it. And when that happens, a candidate is in deep, deep trouble."
Brown went on to defend elements of his first two stints as governor that have come under attack by the Whitman campaign.
"The fact is I didn't raise taxes," Brown said. "I cut taxes by billions, the income tax, we eliminated the inventory tax. And on top of that, our spending was the tightest ever relative to the state gross product. And if you really want to know what happened to a lot of the money, we put in down to the local government after Prop. 13, billions, from the state surplus that I had saved. The state of California was in very good shape when I left."
(Brown did sign a bill, supported by Republicans, increasing gasoline taxes by two cents a gallon. )
Despite a recession in the early 1980s, Brown said, "$5 billion more revenue was coming in" two years later, which he said "meant that the underlying health of the economy was in very good shape."
The Whitman campaign has painted Brown as a career politician who helped create the budget mess in Sacramento.
"His refusal to take leadership and outline any spending cuts or present any solutions to the unfunded pension liability is the very same 'process' that the Sacramento politicians have used to put California in the crisis it's in," wrote Whitman spokesman Sarah Pompei yesterday. "California can't afford inaction and we can't afford to give Governor Jerry Brown a third term."
Brown concluded Thursday about Whitman's ads against him, "Every time you look at these things, you see it's just not true, and it's kind of sad, because I think the voters are onto it. And with me not even putting out an ad, her campaign is pretty well stalled."
Whitman's record spending includes $91 million and counting of her own money. Asked in the radio interview whether he can match it, he responded, "We have to offset with people in those small donations the unprecedented wealth that's coming from the offshore accounts and the Goldman Sachs and the stocks that have generated this enormous sum of money that Ms. Whitman can deploy in the campaign."
Brown was also asked about his $1.8 million home in the Oakland hills, which has received some attention because of Brown's frequent touting of his frugality. He called it his "modest little tree house" and added, "If Meg would like to come by, I'd be glad to serve her a cup of tea and we could talk about our next debate."
Brown finished with a shot at the Whitman campaign's tactic of sending staff to record his public events.
"She's very good at recording. Everywhere I go, she has one of her little kind of unidentifiable gnomes that have their iPhone and they pop it up and they put it up on their Internet. Everywhere I go, it goes directly into her campaign. It's kind of an eerie feeling, but I'm getting used to it."
Photo: José Villegas/Sacramento Bee
UPDATE: Pompei provided some fresh response: "The truth is Jerry Brown Inc. is spending millions on misleading TV ads to defend Jerry's campaign for the status quo. But I assure you that the more voters learn about Gov. Brown's 40 years of entrenched failure the more likely they are to choose a new direction and reject his third term."