California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman faced backlash on Tuesday after she declined a request to take down attack ads currently airing on behalf of her campaign against Democratic rival candidate and former Golden State Gov. Jerry Brown.
While Whitman was making a high-profile appearance alongside her opponent and outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the annual Women's Conference, NBC's Matt Lauer raised the idea of both candidates pulling their negative campaign spots from the airwaves. Put in the hot seat in front of 14,000 people, Brown said he would comply with the request so long as Whitman would as well.
"If Meg wants to do that, I'll be happy to do that. We can have a little discussion today and I'm sure we can work something out," explained the Democratic hopeful.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Whitman at first tried to draw a line between personal attacks and record attacks, which Lauer dismissed as a "question of semantics" and pressed her again.
"I will take down any ads that could be even remotely be construed as a personal attack, but I don't think we can take down ads that talk about where Gov. Brown stands on the issues," Whitman said, to boos.
After making the remarks and digressing to attack Brown, Whitman -- a billionaire who has poured more than $140 million into her campaign -- received a very negative response, which included increasingly loud boos from the audience.