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.”