MEXICO CITY Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he has not yet decided if he will debate Republican Neel Kashkari in this years lopsided gubernatorial race, while Browns wife, Anne Gust Brown, suggested Kashkari is getting abundant air time with his frequent appearances on talk radio.
I havent made up my mind, Brown said. Im going to take that up later in the year, because weve got time.
Brown has been pressed by Kashkari to debate him 10 times, echoing the call Brown himself made four years ago in his race against Meg Whitman.
In an interview with The Sacramento Bee at the end of a four-day visit to Mexico, Brown said there were no incumbents in that race and that, with Whitmans significant financial advantage he was looking at alternate pathways to the voters.
Brown this year enjoys a massive fundraising advantage over Kashkari, as well as a large lead in public opinion polls. With no money to spend on advertising, Kashkari has spent hours guest hosting talk radio shows.
This time Neel Kashkari has become a radio talk show host, said Gust Brown, the governors special counsel. And in fact were going to have to figure out how to rectify, how to overcome all of the free (air) hes gotten.
Brown has all but ignored Kashkari in his bid for a fourth term, with almost no public campaigning so far this year. Asked at a news conference earlier Wednesday what he hoped voters would take away from his talks in Mexico on trade, immigration and the environment, Brown told a reporter, Well, theyll probably take away whatever you give them.
He said generally the traditional domestic issues in California are most salient in elections, with less attention given to the longer-term issue he said he was discussing here.
So thats why I say this will not be as interesting to you, and therefore your readers, he said, than many topics that I can only imagine as I sit here this morning.
Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.