Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown on Thursday invited his Republican rival to tea at his $1.8 million house to discuss their next debate.
Brown made the invitation to Republican Meg Whitman during an interview on KGO radio in San Francisco when asked about his five-story home in the Oakland Hills.
"If Meg would like to come by, I'd be glad to serve her a cup of tea, and we could talk about our next debate," Brown said.
"And you can be there. You can record it," he told radio station KGO in San Francisco.
Last week, The Associated Press reported that Brown rarely mentions his home while he's on the campaign trail touting his frugality, although his campaign said he does not shy away from the subject when asked.
Brown often boasts that he refused to live in the governor's mansion during his first tour in the executive office and that he paid his own rent for an apartment blocks from the state Capitol. He also likes to remind voters that he travels on Southwest Airlines and takes advantage of senior citizen discounts.
While mayor of Oakland, he lived in a townhouse downtown.
During the interview, Brown defended his home for second time this week, calling it a "modest little tree house" that doesn't have a backyard.
"It's a story house because it's hanging on the side of a hill," Brown said in response to the host's reference to the home's five-story design. "It's vertical, not horizontal."
He and his wife, Anne Gust, bought the home in 2007. The three-bedroom home is Zen-inspired, with a spiral staircase, bamboo floors and roll-up windows in a family room that has views of San Francisco Bay. It has a sauna, wine cellar and dumbwaiter service to every floor.
During a campaign event this week, he said he and his wife had saved money to buy their dream house, which is consistent with his philosophy of only buying what you can afford.
Brown's invitation to Whitman was his latest attempt to pin her down to more debates in the gubernatorial contest.
The candidates have agreed to two debates in October. But Brown also called for a series of 10 town hall-style debates between the candidates through the November election.
Whitman's campaign spokeswoman said the candidate will decline Brown's invitation.
"Meg will pass on Governor Brown's gracious invitation to visit his Oakland Hills mansion," spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said. "She doesn't want to distract Brown on the off chance that he actually decides to come up with some policy proposals."
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