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Brown apologizes for comparing Whitman's campaign to Nazi propaganda minister

After he was criticized for comparing the saturation campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to a Nazi propaganda minister, Democratic contender Jerry Brown said Tuesday he would be more careful about what he says.

The Anti-Defamation League called Brown's comment, in which he said the Whitman campaign was "like Goebbels" deeply offensive and inappropriate. Asked about the criticism after a speech to tech executives in the Silicon Valley, Brown said, "Well, I'm sorry. I talked to the people at the Holocaust Center, and they completely understand."

Brown's reference to Joseph Goebbels was made in comments to a radio reporter he ran into while jogging near his home. Asked if he regretted the comment, Brown said Tuesday, "I will tell you this: Jogging in the hills with sweating strangers will no longer result in conversation. Mum's the word."

In his speech to the tech leaders, Brown proposed expanding renewable energy production in California to create new jobs, and he criticized the state budget process. "A lot of the conversation is smoke and mirrors," he said.

Predicting that lawmakers will miss Tuesday's budget deadline, he ridiculed legislators for taking too long and having the wrong priorities: "There is a speech to the Legislature [early in the year], and then they all go home. They have 4,000 bills that are urgent. They've got to get helmets on young skiers even though we haven't had to do that for 100 years. They have to worry about cigarette butts on the beach."

-- Patrick McGreevy in Mountain View, Calif.

 
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