Gov. Gray Davis, spending the final days of the recall campaign surrounded by women and prominent Democrats, suggested Saturday that actor Arnold Schwarzenegger committed a crime of sexual battery and should be investigated by law enforcement. The governor's comments were a significant escalation of his rhetoric against his chief Republican rival in Tuesday's recall campaign. "Some of those events are clearly a crime," Davis told an audience of mostly women. "Electing a governor who might have committed a crime is obviously going to distract the state from the work it has to do." Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, called Schwarzenegger Governor"gropinator."
Feinstein also offered her strongest comments to date against Schwarzenegger, questioning why any "decent American" would ever say they admired Hitler. She said the women who have accused Schwarzenegger said he did things that "really denigrate and deprecate women." She asked women to think twice before voting for the recall. "Do we really want this man to be governor of our state?" Feinstein asked. "Do we really want him to be the role model for our children?"RUSH SPORTSWRAP: ESPN. CBS, and FOX analysts express anger, regret over Limbaugh's comments
Democrats say their polling is showing the race tightening in the final days. Overnight polling by the state Democratic Party pegged support for the recall at 48 percent to 47 percent -- a dead heat -- while Davis' pollster Paul Maslin showed the recall with a minuscule edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, Maslin and Davis campaign officials said.
Countdown host Chris Berman and studio analysts, Tom Jackson and Steve Young all three came up strong yesterday in criticizing Limbaugh for insensitive racial remarks and for his factual inaccuracy. "It was not our decision to have Rush Limbaugh on this show," Jackson said, almost moved to tears. "His comments made us uncomfortable. Rush Limbaugh is known for the divisive nature of his rhetoric." Jackson added that Limbaugh was "brought in to talk football, and he broke that trust." "Rush told us the social commentary for which he is so well known would not cross over to our show," Jackson said, "The fact that Donovan McNabb's skin color was brought up at all was wrong."
Berman said the comments made him angry. "I'm angry for all the hurt ... more for you, the viewers ... African- American, all Americans," Berman said, almost verbally running off the rails. "I've never looked at Donovan McNabb as a black quarterback - ever." Young pointed out that Limbaugh's mistake was that he "refused to recognize that in the last 20 years the quarterback position has become blind to color."
The Limbaugh flap also came up on the pregame shows on Fox and CBS. Fox cohost James Brown said:"In my 18 years covering the NFL, I have not seen any of my media colleagues coddling McNabb or any other black quarterback. Just ask Kordell Stewart. That's the way it's supposed to be." Fox analyst Howie Long said. "Statements like Rush's are at best ignorant and at worst racist."
CBS analyst Boomer Esiason said: "Well, [Limbaugh] really did cross the line. What was so shocking to me is that he actually was so poor from the get-go over there at ESPN. But the fact of the matter is that I believe in freedom of speech, and sometimes that leads to freedom of stupidity, and I think that's what we have here, because none of his opinions are supported by any facts whatsoever."