Jerry Brown Takes on Washington Times Reporter: ‘Are You a Moonie?’
Gov. Jerry Brown tangled with a reporter from the conservative Washington Times newspaper after his meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday.
At one point Brown, who was defending his earlier tenure as governor and his efforts to bridge the state’s budget gap, asked the reporter: “Are you a Moonie?”
The Washington Times was founded in 1982 by Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church, whose followers were often referred to informally as Moonies.
The Washington Times is a conservative paper, and Brown, after recognizing his interrogator, gave no ground. Brown’s spokesman Gil Duran joined in the fray, repeatedly calling the reporter, Kerry Picket, a liar.
You can read a transcript of the exchange after the jump.
Reporter: Gov. Brown, you’ve gotten criticism that you’ve ceded…
Brown: I’ve gotten criticism? Only from the Washington Times…
Reporter: I understand that you’ve gotten some criticism that you’ve ceded way too much to the unions.
Brown: Give me an example.
Reporter: As far as the education, teachers unions, and just as far as some of the contracts that have been negotiated, that you could be making the same mistake that you made in your last administration…
Brown: Which one was that?
Reporter: … Back in the day.
Brown: When California had a $6-billion surplus and was leading America, if not the world, in many different fields?
Reporter: Well, right now it’s going bankrupt.
Brown: That’s untrue. I’ve reduced the deficit that was left to me by a Republican governor from $26 billion to $9 billion and I have a plan to reduce it to zero.
Reporter: So you’re saying that the reason that California is going bankrupt is…
Brown: No, that’s not true. We’re going far. I mean, we’re doing quite well.
Duran: You need to ask a question that’s based on the truth.
Brown (to Duran): You don’t have to argue with her…
Duran: No, S&P just upgraded to positive. That’s not bankrupt.
Reporter: No, actually, because when Reagan came in later on, things actually changed.
Brown: No, Reagan came before me. Reagan came after my father and then I came after Reagan.