Whitman encounters criticism from protesters and radio show hosts

The GOP gubernatorial candidate opens an office in East L.A. and visits the 'John and Ken' show. At both stops, her shifting stance on illegal immigration is criticized. 

Meg Whitman's 54th birthday Wednesday featured a rough time on the campaign trail...

Continuing her aggressive courtship of Latino voters, Whitman opened a campaign office in East Los Angeles and announced new Spanish-language advertisements aimed at this vital voter group. But her words were interrupted by a raucous crowd of protesters outside.

"There has not been a Republican candidate for governor that has had an office in East L.A. for 30 years. So we are going to fight for every vote," she said as protesters picketed, chanted and banged drums outside the strip-mall venue.

The interruption was unusual for a Whitman campaign event; her appearances are usually highly scripted and tightly controlled. The candidate seemed rattled, occasionally stumbled over her words and kept her remarks short.

She hit two of her usual talking points, job creation and fixing California's schools, but did not mention the third plank of her platform: cutting government spending.

She later said the Democratic and labor operatives who organized the protest targeted her because of her calls for reform. "They know I'm going to disrupt the status quo in Sacramento," Whitman told reporters.

Outside, the crowd of protesters grew to about 100, according to law enforcement estimates — double the number of supporters present. Sheriff's deputies were called and secured an exit path for the candidate.

Read the entire story at the Los Angeles Times

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