WESTLAKE VILLAGE — Meg Whitman said Monday that if elected governor she would appoint only judges who support the death penalty.
The Republican candidate's remarks preceded a rally outside Los Angeles at which she told hundreds of supporters that Democrat Jerry Brown is "soft on crime" and that she will end his political career.
"One more week," Whitman told a cheering crowd at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza in Westlake Village. "One more week until we retire Jerry Brown permanently from politics."
Whitman, joined by crime victim advocates, told The Bee she would treat the death penalty as a litmus test when considering all judicial nominees. She criticized Brown, the former governor, for what she called his "long history of judges that were very liberal," in particular his controversial appointment of Rose Bird as the state's chief justice.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said Brown would make no single ideological issue a litmus test for judicial appointments.
"As her campaign gets more and more desperate, she's running more and more promises up the flagpole," he said.
Brown, who vetoed death penalty legislation in 1977 (lawmakers overrode the veto), has pointed in the campaign to his enforcement of the death penalty as state attorney general. He said he would uphold the death penalty as governor, despite personal reservations.
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