The president of Emily's List said Friday that Democrat Jerry Brown should apologize for an associate's suggestion that he label Republican Meg Whitman a "whore."

Stephanie Schriock, the leader of the influential Democratic group dedicated to electing women who support abortion rights, said it was "inappropriate" for an unnamed associate of Brown's to suggest the slur against Whitman, Brown's opponent in the race for governor of California.

"Obviously, we'll make it clear that it's inappropriate. We've got to focus on our incumbent women who are running for reelection; that's clearly where we keep our focus," Schriock said Friday at a taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program. "But he should apologize."

The tape of Brown came to light on Friday, and was first reported by NBC News. The recording contains audio of the Democratic candidate for governor talking about campaign strategy with a staffer after leaving a voice mail concerning a police union's pensions.

"What about saying she's a whore?" the staffer asks.

Schriock said that such language was unacceptable for a candidate on any part of the political spectrum to use.

"It's inappropriate; it's just wrong," she said. "[Such language] just shouldn't be used anywhere by anyone, period. It is just not what our democracy is about. It's unfortunate to hear it in any place."