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Whitman downplays White House ambitions

July 27, 2010 |  8:36 am
Appearing on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman emphasized her tenure as chief executive of EBay, saying her experience at the company gave her insight into the conditions needed for small businesses to thrive. And she said she had no plans to run for higher office if she were elected governor.

Meg Whitman "Hundreds of thousands of individuals made most, if not all, of their living selling on EBay,” Whitman said. “I saw exactly what was required for small business to grow and thrive. If California is going to be led out of this recession, it’s going to have to be led out by small business."

She added: "EBay was the platform for average Californians and average Americans to build their own business and take control of their own destiny."

Whitman then outlined her plan for California’s recovery: Implement tax cuts, streamline regulation and boost the state’s economic development efforts. She said she supported extending the Bush tax cuts.

Asked by host George Stephanopoulos how much she was willing to spend on her campaign, Whitman demurred. “What I designed is a campaign that is designed to win,” she said. “We’re reaching out to different groups in California -- Latinos, women, 18-to 29-year-olds -- all to be part of this campaign. I want to have a big tent.”

When Stephanopoulos asked her if she had White House ambitions, Whitman said no.

“I am here to run California. I want to fix California,” she said. “Where goes California goes the country.”

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento

Photo: Meg Whitman speaks to a reporter following a campaign appearance at a garlic farm in Gilroy, Calif., on July 22, 2010. Credit: Robert Galbraith / Reuters