"I'm genuinely sorry to see Bill withdraw from the race," McClintock told Fox in a phone interview. "He decision to leave the race only intensifies my resolve to stay in this race. I would not have withdrawn under any circumstances by my desire to campaign has only been intensified by this development."
McClintock, who will be a guest on Weekend Live with Tony Snow (search) on Sunday, then took a swipe at the GOP establishment, which he implied had pressured Simon to quit.
"This race belongs to the people and it should not be left to the backrooms of country clubs across the state," McClintock told Fox. "There are some people who want to chose the winner and then have a campaign. I'm old fashioned. I believe you should have the campaign first and then chose the winner."
High-profile Republicans have been working the phones feverishly in recent days to persuade McClintock and Simon to withdraw from the race. Simon withdrew Saturday but declined to endorse any candidate.
McClintock told Fox he now sees himself as the only conservative Republican in the race and questioned Arnold Schwarzenegger's (search) commitment to cutting taxes and state spending.
"I believe the direction California must take is to reduce taxes and the regulations that are choking our economy," McClintock said. "I'm very concerned about the advisers Arnold Schwarzenegger has surrounded himself with. They clearly hold a contrary view." McClintock said he was referring to Warren Buffett, the billionaire investment wizard and chairman of Schwarzenegger's economic recovery council, and former Gov. Pete Wilson, a Schwarzenegger campaign co-chairman.
Buffett hinted last week that California's property taxes were too low and might need to be raised, a statement the Schwarzenegger campaign quickly rebuffed. McClintock blamed Wilson for raising taxes in his first term in office to balance the state budget.
"As long as Schwarzenegger maintains the advisers he had around him now, I have no faith in his willingness not to raise taxes," McClintock told Fox.