New Brown ad criticizes Whitman for negative ads

California gubernatorial candidates Democrat Jerry Brown, right, and Republican Meg Whitman, left, are seen on stage with Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during the Women's Conference Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
October 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
With just days left before the election, gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown both released new, and very different, campaign ads Wednesday. The new ads come one day after a challenge to end negative campaigning.

Whitman is moving on after Tuesday's very uncomfortable sit-down at the Women's Conference in Southern California. She was on the stage refusing to answer Brown's pledge to run only positive ads in the final days of the campaign and the audience booed her for it.

Wednesday, Brown's campaign released a TV ad with footage taken directly from the conference criticizing Whitman for refusing to go positive.

Brown's campaign kept him away from cameras, but Whitman was out campaigning in San Diego and Riverside and her campaign also released a new, more positive, ad. At the same time her campaign sent links to a Brown video where he is seen telling supporters he wants them to go negative on Whitman.

Meanwhile, political pundits and analysts put Tuesday's performance down to Whitman's campaign inexperience.

"She should've pulled, she should've said, 'I'm pulling my negative ads and as a matter of fact Jerry I don't think my ads are really negative," former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said.

Republican campaign consultant Bill Whalen says Whitman could not afford to pull her negative ads because she is trailing in the polls, but there were other ways she should have handled it.

"One would've been to say, 'OK, Jerry, let's sit down you and me and we'll bring Governor Schwarzenegger in and we'll decide which ads are negative and which ads are comparative because that's something that gets lost in this whole debate,'" Whalen said.

But ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain says Whitman could have just gone positive in the final days of the campaign because that is what campaigns do.

"That's the standard play out of the playbook, which is you start positive, you go negative and then you come back positive, so it was likely both campaigns were headed in a positive direction anyway," Cain said. "It wouldn't have been much to say, 'OK, that's what we're going to go.'"

Instead Whitman is defending her negative ads, saying voters want to know.

A new CNN poll has Brown up by 7 points. A Fox News-Rasmussen poll has Brown up by nine points. A Field Poll released Thursday found the former two-term governor leading the former eBay CEO 49 percent to 39 percent among likely voters.


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