‘Whore’ Remark Takes Center Stage At Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman Debate (VIDEO)

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It might just be the first time candidates for governor used the word “whore” on stage in a debate, but it was the nastiest moment between former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Attorney General Jerry Brown last night as they tried to convince California voters to pick them next month.

It all started late last week when a recording surfaced of a Brown aide suggesting that the Democrat call Whitman a “whore” for cutting a deal with state employee unions.

Last night during their third debate, Brown told voters that his campaign had “apologized promptly,” and he told Whitman he was sorry. “It’s unfortunate and I’m sorry it happened and I apologize,” Brown said.

But Whitman said the state’s voters “deserve better than slurs and personal attacks.”“I think every Californian and especially women know exactly what is going on here and that is a deeply offensive term to women,” she said.

Things got testy, though, when Whitman was jeered by the audience for saying the remark was nothing like when her campaign chairman former Gov. Pete Wilson suggested that members of Congress were “whores.”

“That’s a completely different thing,” she said.

For his part, Brown also got defensive, complaining that the recording of the voicemail was five weeks old and “garbled.” Besides that, he said, it was a “private conversation,” so he’s “not even sure it’s legal.”

In their first debate, Whitman said that even though she’s spent record sums of her own money on the race, it’s not possible to “buy” an election.

The second debate largely focused on Whitman’s illegal immigrant housekeeper.

Whitman said in her opening statement last night she’d be a better steward of the Golden State’s finances. “The California dream is broken … we have a government we can’t afford,” she said.

The Los Angeles Times has more here.

Watch the exchange about the “whore” remark:

Huffington Post summarized questions the nominees got about President Obama and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“I think he’s facing tremendous and unreasoned opposition by a small faction of that Republican people in Washington,” Brown said of the president. “So I think Obama’s doing a good job.”

Whitman, however, wasn’t as enthusiastic about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who will be in California on Saturday. When asked whether she would seek her advice, Whitman simply said, “She has a real following in the Republican Party, but you know that I have actually supported other presidential nominees in our party.”

Watch the Huffington Post video:

Our coverage of this race is here. The TPM Poll Average has Brown barely leading Whitman 45.9%-44.4%.

Additional reporting by Clayton Ashley

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