Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a breakfast held by the California Legislative Black Caucus on Thursday. (John Myers / Los Angeles Times)
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a breakfast held by the California Legislative Black Caucus on Thursday.

Gov. Jerry Brown carefully dipped his toes into the national political debate on Thursday, sounding a note of disappointment about the language of politics while praising the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

In brief remarks at a Sacramento event honoring the slain civil rights leader, Brown noted the contrast between King’s “elegance” and the acrimony in the wake of last year’s presidential election.