Last updated: October 27, 2010 - 8:09am
Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman drew a chorus of boos from the capacity crowd at a major women's gathering after going on the attack against Democratic opponent Jerry Brown and refusing to withdraw negative television ads, as Brown said he would, for the rest of the campaign.
The raucous scene took place at California first lady Maria Shriver's annual Women's Conference, where the two candidates appeared onstage with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before a mostly female crowd of 14,000 at the Long Beach convention center. The conversation was led by "Today" show host Matt Lauer who threw the candidates a curve when he described the race as one of the most contentious ever and challenged them to drop their highly personal attack ads. "End the negativity," he said, to cheers from the crowd. "Pull your negative ads and replace them with positive ads," he added, to give California voters "a break." Brown, the state attorney general, said, "If Meg wants to do that, I'll be glad to do it. ... I'll pledge that right now." Whitman, however, appeared uncomfortable and demurred, saying she had been a victim of campaign "character attacks." The former eBay CEO said some of her ads were designed to point out differences between her and Brown on policy issues, while others highlighted his record as a former two-term governor and Oakland mayor.
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