EBay founder Pierre Omidyar told Bloomberg TV's "InBusiness with Margaret Brennan" today that he would "find it very difficult" to vote for former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee for governor, according to a transcript of the interview scheduled to air Wednesday.
Omidyar praised Whitman for her business acumen, calling her a "fantastic executive" and saying that "on that basis, I think she would do a great job as governor," according to the transcript.
However, he said he was disappointed by Whitman's support for California's same-sex marriage ban and by her "alignment with former Gov. Pete Wilson on immigration issues."
Omidyar said he "can't quite support her" because of those issues.
Asked if he would vote for Whitman if he lived in California Omidyar told InBusiness, "On the basis of, I think her misread of Proposition 8 and the Constitutional issues related to that as well as the human rights issues related to that, and on the basis of the immigration issues, I would find it very difficult to vote for her."
He went on, "At the same time, I think despite that, were she to be elected, I would absolutely work with her and I think she would do a great job. And I would work of course to change her mind on some of these other issues."
Omidyar's comments are in line with remarks he previously has made about Whitman. In a written statement to The Bee this month, Omidyar similarly praised Whitman's business experience but said that "as an immigrant and humanitarian, my views on immigration and Proposition 8 differ from Meg's."
Whitman said in a written statement this afternoon, "Pierre is a close friend and I greatly enjoyed working with him at eBay for 10 years. While we disagree on some issues, I appreciate his acknowledgement that I would do a great job as governor. That means a lot to me. After spending many years working together growing a company, he knows better than anyone the leadership I can bring to Sacramento."
PHOTO CREDIT: Then-eBay chief executive officer Meg Whitman and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar leaf through a magazine at the company's headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Friday, May 21, 1999. (AP Photo/Randi Lynn Beach)
Updated at 1:56 p.m. to include reference to Omidyar not living in California.
Updated at 4:54 p.m. to include statement by Whitman.