Jerry Brown: GOP must move out of their "reactionary cul-de-sac"

(CBS News) Although California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown had harsh words about the entire political system on "Face the Nation," he saved his most striking criticism for the GOP.

"I think the Republicans have to move out of that reactionary cul-de-sac that some of the more extreme members are pushing them," Brown told host Bob Schieffer.

"There's an enforcement of discipline that's ideological and, as was mentioned today in The Washington Post, takes on the quality of a cult," the California governor said.

Brown provided one example of Republican ideology, on immigration. The party largely opposes a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

"They're so hostile to millions and millions of people in this country, and while they can't vote, they have millions and millions of people who they're related to or who identify with them. And you just can't ignore 12 million people, particularly when they're picking our food, they're working in the hotels and restaurants, and now they're increasingly in very important jobs," Brown said.

But Brown, who is 74 years old and has been in the political realm for more than 40 years, criticized the entire political system, which he calls "more polarized" than he's ever seen it.

"The great power can't govern itself with this kind of dysfunction. It just won't work," Brown said.

Referring to political gridlock, Brown told Schieffer, "We're in a much more adversarial environment. We've always had it historically, but now it's ramped up several degrees.

"The money is more centrally collected and distributed by the two major parties," Brown added, which he said is going to be a major player this election.

"These big, secret super PACs are going to load the money in and it's going to be nasty," Brown said.

However, Brown offered some praise of President Obama.

"I have to say this: I've never seen a cooler, more reasoned, intelligent candidate and leader than Obama. This man, under pressure, shows a lot of grace and a lot of thoughtfulness, and that's going to serve him well," Brown said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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