Jerry Brown talks gas prices, immigration on ‘Meet the Press’


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Gov. Jerry Brown began his Sunday morning the same way he did exactly 34 years ago -– with a morning sit-down on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’

Brown, who is in Washington for the winter meeting of the National Governors Assn., squared off in a brief debate with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on a host of national issues, including immigration and the rising cost of gasoline.


The segment began with Brewer’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, two days before her state’s pivotal primary. Brown criticized the entire GOP field for what he said are increasingly conservative stances on social issues.

‘What we’re looking at is a reasonable man versus reckless men,’ Brown said in characterizing the race between President Obama and the GOP contenders.

Brown reiterated his call for comprehensive immigration reform, saying something had to be done with the millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.

‘You can’t round up 12 million people and ship them across the border. That’s a disaster,’ Brown said. ‘We need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.’

With rising gas prices becoming an issue in the presidential campaign, Brown praised Obama’s call for higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and blasted congressional Republicans for ‘gutting mass transit’ funding.

He also said Republicans have ratcheted up their rhetoric against Iran, and warned that gas prices will go up ‘$2 per gallon ... if Republicans get their way and stimulate a war in Iran.’


On his way out, Brown was handed a transcript of his 1975 appearance on the show. In a brief discussion with reporters after the taping, he smiled as he read aloud the first question he received that day, asking about comparisons that had been made between Brown and Ronald Reagan and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace -– all of whom had criticized government spending.

Brown recited his answer when he was asked if the comparisons to Reagan and Wallace were valid.

‘I said, ‘It’s as valid as any other journalistic metaphor,’ he said with a smile.


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-- Anthony York in Washington