Gary Susman
September 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Apparently, you can’t run a political campaign without breaking a few eggs. So learned California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday, when an unknown assailant pelted him with an egg at a rally at California State University in Long Beach, according to wire service reports. The yellowish mess gobbed the left shoulder of Schwarzenegger’s cream-colored jacket, but he didn’t break stride and simply peeled the jacket off before his stump speech. Later, however, he got in a crack of his own at the egger’s expense. ”That guy owes me bacon now,” he said.

Schwarzenegger, who already had egg on his face over a recently unearthed 1977 interview in an adult magazine, where he boasted of drug use and group sex, had been accused of chickening out of a debate in order to appear at Wednesday’s rally. Governor Gray Davis and the other leading recall candidates, including Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, pundit Arianna Huffington, state Sen. Tom McClintock, former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, and the Green Party’s Peter Camejo. Schwarzenegger has said he will participate in only one of the three scheduled debates, the one on Sept. 24, at which questions will be provided to the candidates ahead of time.

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