A representative of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger blasted GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari as "misinformed" Thursday after the first-time candidate criticized the former governor as incapable of reforming the state because he "needed to be loved."
"That's a silly statement," said Adam Mendelsohn, Schwarzenegger's former communications director. "Governor Schwarzenegger had arguably the most successful four years of any modern governor after 2005. He passed critical infrastructure bonds, the most important political reforms in the country and landmark environmental legislation to name just a few.
"It's important for anyone running for governor, especially a novice candidate, to avoid saying things that are misinformed," Mendelsohn said.
Mendelsohn was commenting on remarks Kashkari made earlier in the day when he was asked by an audience member how he would accomplish his goals to reshape the state where Schwarzenegger failed as governor.
Kashkari, whose senior advisors include two veterans of Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial and election teams, replied that the movie-star-turned-politician went to war with public employee unions when he tried to get voters to approve four ballot measures in 2005.
"He took on the cops, the teachers, the firefighters, all the big unions. And they came out, they locked arms and they just defeated him across the board," Kashkari told hundreds of people gathered at the waterfront Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach for a self-storage facility owners convention.
"Once that happened, Governor Schwarzenegger had a symptom that so many in Hollywood have -- he needed to be loved. And once you need to be loved, you're never going to do really hard things because doing hard things means you're going to make some people mad at you."
Kashkari faces a steep climb in his race to unseat Brown. The incumbent is seeking an unprecedented fourth term and has more than $20 million in his campaign coffers. Kashkari, since beating tea party favorite Tim Donnelly in the June primary, has struggled badly with fundraising.