POLITICS
10/17/2014 07:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

GOP Candidate Neel Kashkari Is Not Sorry For Ad With Drowning Child

California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is standing by an eyebrow-raising ad in which he's shown saving a child apparently drowning in a swimming pool.

The 30-second spot, which began airing this week, is part of Kashkari's ongoing criticism that incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown failed California children and acted in his own interest when he appealed a ruling striking down teacher tenure. Brown (D) and Kashkari (R) face off in the general election on Nov. 4.

“I wanted the most powerful image I could to let people know about Jerry Brown’s betrayal,” Kashkari said Thursday in a radio interview on KQED’s "Forum." “What’s more shocking -- a 30-second television ad or the fact the governor of California is fighting kids in court who’ve asked him for a good education?”

But the dramatic ad quickly drew criticism.

“It’s so over the top that it is distasteful -- to try to portray Jerry Brown as not saving a child,” Democratic political analyst Steve Maviglio said to CBS13 in Sacramento.

“For a political ad, it’s running on the outer edge of acceptable,” Barbara O’Connor, director emeritus of the nonpartisan Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento, also told the station.

An analysis by the Sacramento Bee concluded that the ad fell into the category of "somewhat misleading." The newspaper noted that while the California Teachers Association is one of Brown’s biggest donors, he has gone against the union before, particularly in his strong support of charter schools. In his appeal of the anti-tenure ruling, the governor argues that a change of such magnitude should be reviewed by a higher court.

Kashkari is a first-time candidate and former official in the U.S. Treasury Department who came in second to Brown in the state's open primary in June. Polls show Brown with a solid lead in the general election.

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