(CNN) – California's gubernatorial race, already fueled by a fierce debate over immigration reform and a mounting fiscal crisis in the state, reached another level Monday as the candidates sparred over money.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democrat hoping to take the seat being vacated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, called his Republican opponent's latest ad, taking on his record on taxes, "completely false."
"[I]t's completely false," Brown told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "[E]verything you heard in that ad is completely false. And I'm really kind of disappointed that this first entry into politics does kind of the old attack, make up stuff, and throw mud."
Whitman's ad, titled "Their Governor," says that if elected, Brown will "be the same as he ever was: High taxes, lost jobs, big pensions for state employees."
Brown, who would be the oldest person ever elected governor of California if he wins the election, already holds the title for youngest person ever elected governor. He held the seat in Sacramento from 1975 to 1983.
Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the campaign stands behind the ad.
"Basically he is trying to rewrite history," Pompei said in a statement to CNN. "The facts are clear. As governor, Jerry Brown's solution to every problem was to raise taxes."
On Monday, Brown said on CNN's John King, USA that he is committed to not adding anything to the tax burden of the people of California unless they approve it.
Brown admitted he was worried about former eBay CEO and president Whitman's deep pockets and fundraising ability.
"Oh I'm very concerned," Brown said, referring to Whitman as a "billionaire who just writes checks," and adding, "We are up against a juggernaut."
According to a Field Poll released earlier this month, 44 percent of California voters say they'll back Brown in the state's contest for governor, with 43 percent saying they support Whitman, and 13 percent undecided. Brown's advantage is well within the survey's sampling error.