Brown Blames Jogging Stranger for Nazi Gaffe

Only Jerry Brown could blame a "sweaty stranger" for his own faux pas.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    California Attorney General and democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown talks with reporters after voting June 8, 2010 in Oakland, California. California voters are heading to the polls to vote in the primary elections for governor, U.S. Senate and other statewide and local races.

    In many ways, Jerry Brown is the west coast version of Joe Biden. Sometime he says things he shouldn't. 

    Which means sometimes he has to apologize. Tuesday, a week after comparing Meg Whitman to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, he did just that. Although his 'apology' seemed to put the blame on the messenger.

    "I'll tell you this," Brown said. "Jogging in the hills with sweaty strangers will no longer result in conversations."

    The 'sweaty stranger' was KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern, who happened to run into Brown while jogging in Oakland Hills last week. The two chatted -- and during the talk, Brown compared Whitman's advertising ability to that of Goebbels.

    Sovern wrote a lengthy post on his personal blog about his exchange with Brown. The Goebbels comment was buried in the blog post -- but it immediately grabbed headlines.

    During a Bay Area appearance Tuesday, Brown said he contacted members of a Jewish-rights group following the quote.
         
    Representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles "completely understand," Brown said. A spokesman for the center confirmed the conversation to the Associated Press.

    Lori Preuitt finds it hard to believe Jerry Brown wouldn't recognize Doug Sovern. He's been on the beat here for more than a decade.