September 13th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
8 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 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 "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. Jesus Francisco

    I love Bill Clinton and I will be voting for Jerry Brown ... and Meg Whitman with all her staff and money has to know she is blatantly lying about Brown.

    September 13, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. XWngLady

    "I mean (Enter any politician's name here) is a nice guy (gal), but whoever said he (she) always told the truth?"

    Wow! Now that's a mouthful...This is true of Politicians on both sides of the aisle. Nowadays, they will say and/or do anything to get/stay elected. I wish we as voters wouldn't tolerate this negative campaigning, then candidates wouldn't do it....but because we just eat it up like lap dogs, they're going to continue to cut each others' throats, only to serve the constituents that voted for them while in office...sigh...

    September 13, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Put them in the ring for a death match, if it were a tie America would be the winner.

    September 13, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Whatever

    20 years?! COME ONE NOW... get over it and move on!!!!!!!!!

    I don't think Whitman is going to bring any fresh thoughts to the table!!!! Same old same old is what CA is going to get. Glad she is in CA and not here!!!

    September 13, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Dennis

    There's a reason that Johnny Carson referred to Jerry Brown as "Governor Moonbeam". the guy is a flake.

    September 13, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. johnRJ08

    I support Jerry Brown in his run for governor, largely because I resent Meg Whitman's attempt to buy the office without ever having shown any interest in even voting, much less having any experience in government. However, I would suggest that Brown find a way to get that permanent grimace on his face fixed, because looking at that relentless frown is getting downright depressing. And Brown should be going after the lousy reporting on CNN rather than Bill Clinton.

    September 13, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. notaredneck

    I guess it matters if people are such idiots that they don't know that it's the norm for people in the same party to say the most horrible, mean, cut throat things when they are in a primary, or running for a nomination especially for President. Remember Obama and Hillary and yes, Obama and Bill Clinton before Obama prevailed and then won and then made Hillary his Secretary of State and Bill Clinton a major advisor and tool like nothing was ever said.

    You ended this by saying we probably won't see Bill Clinton helping Brown out, Well that's exactly what the two men should do. It's amazing how Whitman is doing everything she can to be Governor but she has offered No Solutions to anything (The economy brochure is garbage and useless). We will be in big trouble if she wins. We will probably have to have another special election like we did when Arnold became Governor and Davis had to take a hike.

    September 13, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Betty

    Brown may think its cute to slam Bill and drudge up Monica but remember Gore chose to distance himself from Bill too and look where that got him

    September 13, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. keeth in california

    CNN should be ashamed for twisting its bylines. This is a 20 year old story and you make it about the Dems. It should read, "Cali GOP Gov candidate refuses to stop lying." I'd tell you to do your job, but it's obvious you won't.

    September 13, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    My real point is this, Brown still angry after 20 years? Is that stable?

    September 13, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Sue

    Well, tell me what politician doesn't play with the "facts/truth". I don't even think the vast majority of the voting public know the "facts/truth"
    That is pretty obvious with these ridiculous ads.
    Go Gov. Moonbeam – spend no campaign money and still beat the $110million woman!

    September 13, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. gg

    Jerry Brown can't hold a candle to Bill Clinton, anyone who votes for him is a fool.

    September 13, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Anne P CA

    Meg Whitman is vile. She is desparatly trying to buy our state and nothing is below her it seems...even lying. I immediately change the channel, be it radio or TV when her obnoxious voice comes on. She suddenly wants to be part of government after not voting most of her life? She simply wants to be governor so she can buddy up w/her pal, Romney in the future as a VP candidate. Not very transparent, Meg. She is not good for CA and the sooner we get that the better! Go, Jerry; kick her butt with the truth!

    September 13, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. sara

    Oh my – get over your selves. Move on – get a plan – do something.

    September 13, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Roger

    ABC has booked both of these guys for 'Dancing with the Stars' 2011

    September 13, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Keith in Austin

    Desperate Demmys eating their own!The implosion of Liberal/Euro-Socialism continues!

    September 13, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Rachel

    Jerry is a clown.

    September 13, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. clark1b

    I helped vote Brown out of office years ago .... unbelievable that the nuts and flakes in California now would even consider this "true politician".

    September 13, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Alannah

    What foolishness on Brown's part. I am a democrat and I loathe the thought of Meg Whitman as Governor. But I am appalled by Jerry Brown's inability to get over himself with regard to Bill Clinton. He shows poor judgment at pre election time. We are faced with a dilemna: Elect a relic from the past (Brown) or a present day dinosaur (Whitman). We are truly between a rock and a hard place.

    September 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Disbelief

    Republicans are not fit to call themselves "Americans". However, they are more than qualified to call themselves "Liars" – a quality of which they are very proud! Look at what Republicans have done to this country – and the world. It's been a disaster every minute a Republican has been in charge. You can always count on the Republican smokescreen/smoke-and-mirrors campaign to hide their intense and extraordinary incompetence, corruption, stupidity. Then again, these "attributes" never were seen as a liability by Republicans. It's kind of like the Russians and politicians like Boris Yeltsin – being an alcoholic is not seen as a political liability over there just like Republican incompetence, greed, corruption and stupidity are not seen as liabilities. That is why Republicans have such an intense campaign of lies, smears, political fraud, tyranny, obstructionism, sabotage of our economic recovery, etc, etc.

    September 13, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. 4America1

    Jerry Brown is one of the main reasons for the start of California's downturn. During his first terms as Governor his policies caused more harm than good. The best thing for the state is Jerry Brown's retirement.

    September 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Texas Progressive

    If Republicans were as good at running the Nation as they are at deceptive and unethical politics we'd be in good shape now – rather than looking out of the hole they dug. I suppose they're dusting off the "swift boats" now...

    September 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. mrhapiguy

    Ah... Remember when our biggest problem was the Lewinsky scandal? I would trade a little presidential scandal for the current economic destruction and worldwide mayhem any day!

    September 13, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. ChollyGee

    Just LOOK at the men that "we" trust with out tax dollars!! By now, Jerry Brown thinks he IS California, with all the time he has spent on the public dole and with all the offices he has run for and/or held. Bill Clinton began the destruction of the Democrat party and Jerry Brown is a complete dinosaur.

    September 13, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. LaderaMom43

    You may not like her but meg Whitman is a whole lot safer than Jerry Brown. Have you driven thru Oakland recently... it is worse than ever. And it was never good.

    September 13, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5