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Brown hits back at Whitman attack ad

June 30, 2010 | 11:18 am

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown pushed back at rival Meg Whitman’s 1960s-themed attack ad, saying decades of experience ought to be valued.

“My reaction is '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, I’ve been around a long time. I know stuff. Knowing is better than not knowing,” he said on the "Good Day L.A." morning show on KTTV, the Fox affiliate in Los Angeles.

Brown was commenting about a 60-second ad that Whitman released last week that had a Vietnam War-era theme and sought to portray Brown as a relic of the past and a failed public official.

Brown painted Whitman, the former chief of EBay, as a dilettante.

“Were I a CEO and someone said, ‘You know what, I’ve never been in this company, I never saw the product and I want to be a boss,’ I’d say, ‘Hey, why don’t you start at the bottom and work your way up,’ ” he said. “That’s the same way with government -- you can’t wake up one morning and say, ‘Gee, I’ve got a billion dollars and I want to be governor.' You got to learn something because those people up in Sacramento are sharks.”

He made light of the ad’s imagery, which featured grainy, decades-old pictures of Brown.

“Did you see those ads when I was young and I had all the hair? I thought I looked pretty good to tell the truth,” said the now-bald candidate. “I looked a hell of a lot better than I do now.”

Brown noted that a recent poll showed him with a 6-point lead over Whitman, which he called “amazing” given the candidates’ funding gap.

“Mrs. Whitman has spent over $100 million and I think I’ve spent a few hundred thousand. I haven’t even started yet and I’m not going to start for while,” he said. “She’s advertising every day and I've got to wait because I don’t have the same kind of money. I’m not a billionaire.”

Brown discussed his implementation of Prop. 13 despite his earlier opposition to it, as well as support for the 2nd Amendment and same-sex marriage. He said he opposed efforts to legalize marijuana, which will be on the November ballot.

“We got to compete with China, and if everybody’s stoned, how the hell are we going to make it?” he said.

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles

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