(CNN) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown apologized Monday for comments he made over the weekend about former President Bill Clinton.
"Bill Clinton was an excellent president. It was wrong for me to joke about an incident from many years ago, and I'm sorry," Brown said in a statement.
Brown's comments were in reaction to a television ad released by his Republican opponent Meg Whitman's campaign, which shows an interview with Clinton – then a presidential candidate running against Brown for the party's nomination – during which he accuses Brown of raising taxes in California when he was governor in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
At a Democratic Party event on Sunday, Brown made a not-so-subtle reference to Clinton's involvement in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"Meg Whitman, she stops at nothing," Brown told a crowd of supporters at a Democratic Party event in California.
"She's even got Bill Clinton lying about me. That's right. Did you see that, where he said I raised taxes? It's a lie. I mean Clinton's a nice guy, but whoever said he always told the truth?"
Clinton was basing his comment on a CNN report at the time. However, the former CNN correspondent who reported the story, Brooks Jackson, said Saturday in a post on factcheck.org that his 1992 report was inaccurate. Taxes did not in fact go up while Brown was governor.
Brown also lambasted Whitman for continuing to run the ad despite its inaccuracies.
"I've made my share of mistakes, and my inappropriate joke about President Clinton is one of them. But from me you'll always get the truth."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney contributed to this report