Steve Poizner endorses Meg Whitman

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who lost this year’s Republican gubernatorial primary after a particularly expensive, often nasty battle with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, today endorsed Whitman and the rest of the GOP ticket.

Not much of a surprise, really; in his concession speech, Poizner said he and his supporters “believe that our state’s last, best hope is to defeat Jerry Brown and reform Sacramento. If Meg Whitman runs on conservative principles, she deserves our full support.”

Today, Poizner – who earlier this year said Whitman lacked the “courage and values to stand up to illegal immigration;” knocked her as a chronic non-voter; accused her of taking “sweetheart deals” as a Goldman Sachs board member; and so on – issued a statement that isn’t particularly effusive about Whitman individually, but it gets the job done:

“As we begin the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the general election campaign, Californians know very well that our state is in severe crisis and that the decisions made next year will in many ways decide what kind of future our state will have.

“The choice between our Republican ticket and the Democrat ticket could not be more clear. From Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina to Damon Dunn and Mike Villines, our ticket offers a clear contrast to candidates nominated by the Democratic Party.

“Our ticket is led by successful business women who know that if there is to be a viable public sector, there must be a vibrant private sector. They know that the best, most reliable job is one created by the private sector. They understand that governments, like families and businesses, must live within their means.

“Too many of the Democratic Party nominees believe that the answer to all our state’s problems can be solved by larger government. But government isn’t the answer. It has had its chance, and it has failed miserably.

“California voters have a clear choice in November.

“Our Republican ticket is our state’s best hope to fix governmental systems that are clearly in need of a major overhaul. On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, please join me in supporting the entire Republican ticket. Our state deserves nothing less.”

UPDATE @ 2:35 P.M.: “I’m grateful to have the support of Commissioner Steve Poizner,” Whitman said in a statement issued this afternoon. “Steve and I have a shared belief that we must improve California’s business climate, cut government spending and fix the state’s public schools. I appreciate that Steve is backing my campaign, and look forward to winning the support of all Californians who share my vision for making our economy stronger and our government more accountable.”

And, from Sterling Clifford, spokesman for the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown: “Meg Whitman may find it easy to change with the political winds, but I guess Steve Poizner doesn’t. Poizner knows he was right about Meg Whitman the first time, and his tepid endorsement should give even committed Republicans second thoughts about their chronically dishonest candidate.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Benito

    The Republicans are so funny, when the economy is good you say let’s all celebrate “Cinco de Mayo, my brothers” but when the economy is down “it’s all your fault, you damn immigrant”. When most Americans (with Latin America roots) go to the polls this November we will remember that the GOP has gone on a nationwide rant in proposing and passing several anti-immigration legislation (that our US Courts continue to strike down) and have continue to blame the immigrant for the flat economy or worse. We will remember who stands with us and who stands against us, so trying to stop it now is somewhat funny, but go ahead, you will not change our minds. Plus the more radical of the GOP are now attacking our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, in a misguided attempt to garner some much needed votes, they really are fools, and leading the GOP towards obscurity because they are no longer a party of ideas, just of empty suits. Your hate made you do it, in November; you will reap what you have sown. I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say about todays GOP, he unlike the current GOP was a man of ideas.

  • For Liberty


    Both federal administrations (Republican & Democrat) have violated their oaths to secure our borders, which was evident on 9/11/01. In fact, the federal government has been negligent in providing proper border security, while billions of dollars are spent in the middle east.

    Be careful with your allegiance to one particular political party over the other, because both major party candidates for governor have no plan to secure the state’s southern border.

    Listen to Whitman’s comments on this issue while interviewed on the radio, earlier this summer:


    Just because Whitman has an “R” after her name, does not necessarily mean that she is conservative. In fact, on some issues, it could be argued that she is more liberal than Brown.

  • Mortifee

    Whitman is obviously trying to buy the governor’s mansion. I hope Californians do not sell. Her jobs programs are warmed-over, failed, old Republican schemes. The upside of her campaign is that she is providing jobs for many TV employees.