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Will Brown and Whitman Stop the Negative Ads? Issue Dominates Women's Conference Discussion

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Matt Lauer, left, speaks with California gubernatorial candidate Republican Meg Whitman, second left, as California gubernatorial candidate Democrat Jerry Brown and Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger look on at the Women's Conference this afternoon (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Okay, that was fun. Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman sat down for a chat this afternoon at The Women's Conference in Long Beach. "The Today Show" host Matt Lauer led the discussion along with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in tow. It was generally civil as they all spoke about their families, why Schwarzenegger won't endorse a candidate (Lauer offered to arm wrestle for the answer), confidants and special interests (Whitman said she would stand up to the California Teacher's Association). But then Lauer dropped the bomb.

"This campaign has been a bloodbath in many ways," Lauer said about the "awful" amount of negativity seen in ads. With one week to the election "would either of you, or both of you, make a pledge to end the negativity?"

And the crowd screamed with a standing ovation.