(CNN) – California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday the difference between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama is clear, comparing the Republican nominee to a former presidential candidate who was unsuccessful in three White House bids.
"Romney almost reminds me of Thomas Dewey," Brown, a Democrat, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "He symbolized the wealthy East and then Truman was fighting more for the common man."
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In his 1948 bid against President Harry Truman, Dewey was known for being less conservative than congressional Republicans at the time and was challenged by some in his party to run a more forceful campaign. Despite a close race, Dewey failed to win enough votes to defeat the incumbent president.
Brown said it was evident from the Republican and Democratic conventions that the two current presidential candidates represent different factions of the American public.
"Now I'm not trying to compare Obama with Truman, but I do think (Obama) represents and he expresses more of the ordinary American and the struggles that the ordinary American is going through," Brown said.
The main difference, he argued, was Romney's plan to lower taxes – a proposal that Brown said would cause more damage to the economy.
Asked if he heard a compelling reason at the Democratic convention to re-elect Obama, Brown said the event last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, had a theme that was more geared to creating jobs.
"What I heard at the Republican Party is mostly bashing the president and talking about how they're going to, you know, lower taxes, which primarily (is) going to help the very wealthiest," Brown told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
He continued: "Now what I heard with President Clinton, with President Obama, with Michelle, a real commitment to build the stuff that makes America."
Faced with a major deficit and financial struggles, Brown has led an aggressive effort in California to cut spending and to raise taxes, including a tax increase on the very wealthy in an upcoming ballot measure. He defended the tax hikes, which resemble proposals by the Obama administration, at a time when the state's economy is still struggling.
"It's either take the money from those who have even more than we can imagine and give it to our schools, or not," he said. "And whatever it is, I'll manage it and we'll make it work."
Asked if he plans on running for another term as governor, Brown said he’s “not slowing down.”
“I'm not slowing down, so I don't want to predict where I'll be, because we have a lot of – a lot of pitfalls to tend to over the next year or two,” he said. “But I think it's Obama says we're fired up and ready to go.”