February 1st, 2010
07:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Whitman adviser questions Poizner's 'mental condition'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/28/art.whitmantech.gi.jpg caption="An adviser to California Republican Meg Whitman questioned the 'mental condition' of Whitman's opponent Monday."]
(CNN) – A top aide to a California Republican gubernatorial candidate called into question a rival candidate's "mental condition" Monday, in what has become an increasingly bitter battle for the GOP nomination.

Mike Murphy, a political adviser to former EBay CEO Meg Whitman, was responding to an accusation by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who accused Murphy of "intimidation tactics" in an effort to convince him to drop out of the race.

"[A]ll I can say is that I'm starting to worry about Commissioner's mental condition," Murphy said in a statement.

Specifically, the Poizner campaign said that Murphy contacted a senior member of Poizner's political staff to try and convince the commissioner to leave the race and focus on challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2012. The Poizner campaign added that Murphy sent an e-mail after the telephone call suggesting Whitman was willing to spend tens of millions of dollars "'tearing up'" Poizner.

"The Murphy e-mail has been sent to the proper authorities, including the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's office, and the Attorney General's office for review of ethical violations," the Poizner campaign said in a statement.

Murphy does not dispute contacting Poizner's campaign pollster, who he described as an "old friend" as well as another Poizner adviser.

"It is true that I have been trying to find a way to avoid a costly and unnecessary Republican primary," Murphy said.

While Murphy said he will cooperate with law enforcement authorities, the Whitman adviser added he has no plans to speak publicly on the subject again.

"I do not plan to make any further comment on these discussions, as I do not want to create even more embarrassment for his consultants, or get anybody fired," Murphy said.

A recent poll showed that Whitman held a 28 percentage point lead over Poizner.

Filed under: California • Extra • Meg Whitman • Popular Posts • Steve Poizner
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. marc in california

    Mike Murphy is backing a candidate who has zero governmental experience, thinks she can buy all of our votes, who only within the last few years declared herself a Republican, has one of the worst voting records of any statewide candidate today, and he is questioning Steve Poizner's mental condition?!

    February 1, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Pragmatic

    Old karl rove bag of "dirty tricks" ... republicans whispered the same things about John McCain in 2000 – due to his being a prisoner of war. Ironic that those spreading the lies were those that never served ... much less experienced being a POW.

    February 1, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Michael Hsu

    Unfortunately, Whitman does not have the looks necessary to win an election in california (cause she's even uglier looking compared to the current ugly looking female representatives from CA).

    February 1, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. Kevin Regalado

    Whitman, is trying to buy the election. Whitman and her surrogates are trying to buy out the rest of the candidates. She is acting as if this is a contest about who can outspend the rest of the candidates.

    February 1, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. Bob, SC

    It seems that anyone or any organization hat dares to disagree with the extreme right wing nuts will be attacked visciously. The latest of thes now is the AARP for their stance on Health Reform. I shuuder to think what would happen to our rights should we be unfortunate enough to have them in power. I see the seeds of a dictatorship on the horizon. Or maybe a triumverate of hannity, beck and bimbaw.

    February 1, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  6. rab

    We all wish Poizner would drop out, because Whitman doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of beating ANY of the Democrats.

    February 1, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. Clint, Wa.

    Goog god, they can't get along with each other either.

    February 1, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. marie

    here we go again...the rich lady trying to buy her way in...how many
    rich people have spent fortunes to buy an office in California...
    we don't need them

    February 1, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. Mickey

    More obstructionist and smear tactics from the right-wing moonbats...

    Republicans have become nothing more than domestic terrorists.

    February 1, 2010 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
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