Whitman launches first ad attacking Jerry Brown


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Meg Whitman will begin airing a new 60-second television ad Wednesday that takes aim squarely at Democratic nominee Jerry Brown. If the ad is any indication, it looks like Californians can brace themselves for a long season of campaign ads. Through a stylized montage that moves through Brown’s four decades in California politics, Whitman makes reference to the death penalty and Bill Clinton to make the case against Brown. The ad uses a clip from a debate between Brown and Clinton when the two men ran against each other for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992. In the clip, Clinton says Brown ‘reinvents himself every year or two.’

Whitman campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said the spot was a response to an ad launched last week by a consortium of labor unions and other Brown supporters attacking Whitman’s poor voting record.


“We’re not going to let the government employee unions spend millions of dollars on TV ads attacking Meg and not respond in kind,’ Bounds said ‘Governor Brown has spent 40 years in politics protecting Sacramento’s failed status quo, and this is the first step in educating voters about his real record.”

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said the ad was ‘more negative attacks from a campaign that can’t seem to tell the truth. It’s politics as usual, backed by Wall Street billions,’ he said. ‘If Meg Whitman had ever bothered to vote, she might know that Jerry Brown cut taxes by $4 billion, built up a surplus and created 1.9 million new jobs for Californians. If Whitman wants to discuss Jerry Brown’s record, she should accept his invitation to 10 town halls and debate Jerry’s accomplishments in person.’

The ad opens and closes with Brown’s image on a 45 rpm record. The not so subtle message? That Brown is a relic of a bygone era, sure to be contrasted with Whitman’s EBay resume. In between is a video collage of images ranging from Vietnam-era helicopters to peace march imagery of the 1970s to shots of Brown and Clinton on the campaign trail in the 1990s.

You can watch the ad below:

--Anthony York in Sacramento