Campaigns react to Jerry Brown comparing Whitman to Goebbels

Jerry Brown's campaign for California governor continues to suffer fallout from off-the-cuff comments he made to a radio reporter comparing Republican Meg Whitman's messaging to Nazi propaganda.

Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner blasted Brown this week in a statement sent to KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern, who first reported Brown's comments on Wednesday.

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"Just last week, Governor Brown promised he wasn't going to engage in mudslinging, but now he is comparing Meg Whitman to Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels," Hasner said. "Jerry Brown's statements comparing our campaign to a propagator of the Holocaust is deeply offensive and entirely unacceptable."

Brown issued this statement Friday: "I regret making the comments. They were taken out of context."

Sovern wrote about the comments on his blog, Sovern Nation, after a chance encounter with California's attorney general on a running trail. After talking about the large amounts of money Whitman has spent on the campaign so far, Brown told Sovern that he expects the former CEO eBay to use her considerable resources to attack his reputation.

"You know, by the time she's done with me, two months from now, I'll be a child-molesting...," Brown said, according to Sovern.

Sovern goes on in his blog:

"He let the line trail off.

'She'll have people believing whatever she wants about me.'

Then he went off on a riff I didn't expect.

'It's like Goebbels,' referring to Hitler's notorious Minister of Propaganda. 'Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about'."