Local

Whitman, Fiorina headline state GOP convention

California GOP Senate challenger Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, in San Diego. From left to right, in the photo below, Tony Strickland, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Damon Dunn, and Abel Maldonado thank supporters after speaking at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Friday, Aug. 20, 2010, in San Diego.
California GOP Senate challenger Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, in San Diego. From left to right, in the photo below, Tony Strickland, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Damon Dunn, and Abel Maldonado thank supporters after speaking at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Friday, Aug. 20, 2010, in San Diego.
AP Photo/Chris Park

The Republicans blasted their Democratic opponents during this weekend’s state party convention in San Diego, even as the GOP struggled with internal differences over the gubernatorial nominee.

Saturday, U.S. Senate Candidate Carly Fiorina headlined a luncheon, blasting Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer as a liberal big spender and “bitter partisan who has said much and achieved little.”

The former head of Hewlett Packard promised to bring jobs to California and painted a bleak picture of Democratic Party policies that have led to a “grinding injustice.”

"The failed policies of Washington’s ruling class have smothered hopes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people," she said. "And worse are sapping the life and the strength and the dreams out of working families in every corner and every county.”

Polls show Fiorina and Boxer running even.

Friday night, the party’s nominee for governor former eBay chief Meg Whitman sought to rally support of party activists in her battle with Democratic nominee Jerry Brown.

“This election is about the soul of California,” Whitman said. “Are we going to continue to be owned by the union bosses who have a grasp as tight as I imagine on what is going on in Sacramento?”

Whitman faced criticism from within her own party over her refusal to support an Arizona-style immigration law in California.

Mike Spence of West Covina said some conservatives in the party remain suspicious of Whitman.

“You have a lot of people that are tired of being blackmailed into voting for nominees that are going to sell them out later,” Spence said.

Outside the Hyatt Hotel on the San Diego waterfront, a small group of Democratic Party activists criticized both Whitman and Fiorina.

“They’re running primarily on the basis that they ran companies,” said Kam Kawata, of the Los Angeles Democratic Party.

He noted Whitman and Fiorina were CEO’s, but he said “what CEO should have stood for was chief exporting officer because they took great pride in sending American jobs overseas.”

Whitman has spent more than $100 million in her campaign against Brown. She acknowledged that in her speech.

“I have put my money into this race but more than that, I have put my heart and soul into this struggle,” she said.

Whitman added that after 20 months, the pundits still ask her why she is running for governor. “I am running for governor of California is that I refuse to belief that our state cannot be better than it is and I refuse to sit by and watch while our state fails.”

Polls show Whitman running even with Brown

The election is Nov. 2.