September 13th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Brown in 20-year fight with Bill Clinton

 Brown had some strong words for Bill Clinton.
Brown had some strong words for Bill Clinton.

(CNN) – California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is in a tiff with former President Bill Clinton – or at least the Bill Clinton from nearly two-decades ago.

The brouhaha erupted after rival Meg Whitman's campaign launched a television ad showing an interview with Clinton in 1992 – 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.

Clinton was basing his comment on a CNN report at the time. However the CNN correspondent who reported the story, Brooks Jackson, wrote on factcheck.org Saturday that his reporting was inaccurate - taxes were not higher when Brown left office.

Speaking to voters at an event Sunday, Brown lambasted Whitman for running the ad, as well as Clinton himself for the decades-old comment.

"Meg Whitman, she stops at nothing," said Brown Sunday, which can be seen in exclusive video posted on Time.com. "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?"

The off-the-cuff Brown then added a not-so-subtle reference to Clinton's involvement in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"You remember right? There's this whole story about did he or didn't he," said Brown. "Ok, I did not have taxes with this state. So let's be clear about that."

Clinton has been in high demand this campaign season, but it's probably safe to say the former president won't be making any stops on behalf of Brown.


Filed under: 2010 • Bill Clinton • California • Jerry Brown
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Carrotroot

    It's pretty much water under the bridge at this point since things were pretty good in 90's under Clinton. It wasn't until the 2000's when California went to hell under a Republican governor, not sure if Meg can rectify that.

    September 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Mike

    Bill Clinton lies? Really?

    Doesn't every politician? Including our current fearless leader.

    Whatever it takes to get elected I guess, and you Mr. Brown are no exception either.
    So I'd keep my mouth shut if I were you because you're no better.

    September 13, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Ferret out the BS

    It's too bad as the Democrats need to pull together, that means everyone. Ms Witman's ads are not truthful about a lot of things but because many of the voters back then aren't around now to dispute how things went new voters may believe her. What Ms Witman doesn't say is that many of the state's issues with the budget and the legislature were created by the voter via propositions and Ms Witman isn't going to be able to fix that. Jerry governed well and with fiscal restraint and did what was right for California and it's residents. I guess things were going so well, Ms Witman didn't feel the need to vote.

    September 13, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. jim

    There's trouble in la la land. !!! I'll sit back and enjoy the show.................

    September 13, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Let me get this straight... California democrats want to go all the way back to the 70's and Governor Moonbeam?

    Dosen't sound very "progressive" to me...

    September 13, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. barry

    Jerry Brown what a loser. Sit down and shut up Jerry. You won't have a seat on the bus come November.

    September 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Oh NO he didn't GO THERE!!! Brown done opened up a can of WHUPash!!! Now that's SHAMELESS advertising!!

    Bill Clinton should not even get into the TURMOIL. He should keep doing what he does best and stimulate the..........

    DEMOCRATS to STATE the CASE, UNITE the BASE and WIN this RACE in November, 2010!!!

    September 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. terry

    Talk about going back to failed policies! I WOULD NOT VOTE FOR JERRY BROWN IF YOU PAID ME!

    September 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. jasonK

    From Bush to Rush the common factor is lying. whether it be war or it be tax cuts for the filthy rich, the common element is the GOP lies. Any sane human can see through it. In the words of Carla Jobsoutsourcina-"That is so yesterday"

    September 13, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. NYC REPUB

    Brown will win in November.

    September 13, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Ron in Califonia

    The pictures say it all. Both are over the hill politically. We need younger, fresh thinking ,energetic foks in office. Obama has two of the three. Young and energetic.

    September 13, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. malabar

    Im rooting 4 Whitman, but that was funny. i did not have taxes with the state. ;-)

    September 13, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. rdepontb

    Kooky and self-absorbed as ever, aren't you, Jerry? We have the entire nation to get back on track, not just your life. Why would you want to tarnish the brand in this way? Don't we have enough other guys these days? Thanks for not barfing on our best faces any more-please.

    September 13, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. tedy roosevelt Kennedy

    Let Jerry speak! Let Jerry speak! its 1992 all over again. we need to stop recycling these people.

    September 13, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Robert Vukovic

    At the time Clinton threatened to punch out Jerry Brown for comments Brown made about Hillary Clinton's past business dealings. That was another fun election year.

    September 13, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. mark

    Jerry Brown is another idiot. If he had kept his mouth shut no one would have even remembered. Pathetic.

    September 13, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's obvious Meg Whitman didn't care about the state of taxes back in 1992 because it didn't affect her, she was still making her billions.

    September 13, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Zen'ichi Maro

    It's like watching dinosaurs fight in a tarpit...amazing, sad. Okay, mostly sad.

    September 13, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. SayWhat

    "However the CNN correspondent who reported the story, Brooks Jackson, wrote on factcheck.org Saturday that his reporting was inaccurate – taxes were not higher when Brown left office."

    Running an eighteen(18) year old interview that is wrong on the facts is all you need to know about Meg 'Switboat" Whitman.

    September 13, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. lovable liberal

    How did this story about Republican Meg Whitman's misuse of a long-refuted factoid from 1992 become a story of a fight between two Democrats?

    September 13, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. arlene, L.A.,CA

    I love bill clinton & I'll be voting for jerry brown.

    September 13, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Diane

    This is the sure reason I'm voting for Mr. Brown. Ms. Whitman is so out of touch!

    September 13, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. cecilia

    do you think it might be time for you to grow up Mr Brown. this is what is wrong with America today. Greed and immaturity

    September 13, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. patriotFirst

    However the CNN correspondent who reported the story, Brooks Jackson, wrote on factcheck.org Saturday that his reporting was inaccurate....

    Need I say more?!? Way to go CNN!

    September 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Shirley in California

    Please God – send us a worthwhile candidate. I don't want Whitman or Brown. California is doomed!

    September 13, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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