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. Jess C

    Whitman and Fiorina will both go down in defeat. CA is no place for Repubs. We've seen this state over developed with housing and now there's no one buying them so tax revenue is naturally tanked. Saw that coming 10 yrs. ago! We don't need drilling off our shores, we need green jobs. Whitman knows nothing about any of it; only corporate greed. How much of the crap sold on eBay is stolen property....hmmmm? Why won't Whitman debate Brown in Town Hall style meetings?

    September 13, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    Not smart. I'd think he'd want Bubba on his side. I suspect Clinton is still pretty popular in CA. Does Brown look for ways to lose?

    September 13, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. K from AZ

    To keep you out of office, she is allowed to show truths.

    September 13, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. John in Sacramento

    I'll be voting AGAINST Whitman, so if that means I vote for Brown, then I vote for Brown.
    Whitman's solution to prison overcrowding is....build MORE PRISONS! If you work for the Prison Industrial Complex or Wall ST., expect to rake in the money if Whitman is elected. All other jobs will be outsourced to India and China.

    September 13, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. President Obozo: On vacation and OUT TO LUNCH

    Doesn't California have enough problems without electing Jerry Brown for Governor??!! they need to be FLUSHING DemocRATS not resurrecting the old dinosaurs from the 70's and 80's!

    September 13, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. stevetall

    America needs another kooky female governor with no experience like we need an icepick in the forehead. Smarten up, my fellow Americans, or the stupidity we've already demonstrated will pale in comparison to what's next.

    September 13, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Disbelief

    Every Republican is a "clown". Every Republican is a "Socialist", "Fascist", "Communist", etc. They are basically everything they try to pin on everybody else. The Republican crooks were only able to screw our country for decades because the crooks, liars, fascists, etc who voted them into office. Crooks and liars vote for crooks and liars. It's as simple as that.

    September 13, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Joe G

    Bubba should apologize for NAFTA and his decisions that led to the mortgage crisis and then go get his cigar smoked.

    September 13, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. HSNP

    Jerry Brown = has been, never was

    Bill Clinton = timeless

    Jealousy is a terrible thing Jerry.

    September 13, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. diridi

    This idiot is crazy guy...to mock...Pres. clinton's era is a "Golden Era". Pres. Obama needs to follow Bill Clinton....The Best President is clinton....then, Obama...the worst President is Bush, and Ronald Reagan...ok...no biased...o.k...

    September 13, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. George

    Liberalism is NOT imploding. It is alive and well. It's just not as loud and mean and nasty and boorish as conservatism seems to be today.

    September 13, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Librards Stay Home and Let the Tea Party Take Over

    Got to laugh at the depressed Dims. Tea Party is ready to take back America – Obozo supporters are going to stay home LOL

    September 13, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Buster Bloodvessel

    Sounds more like he disagrees with an erroneous clip decades old than they are feuding. Move along, nothing to see here. Slow news day, or was it more fun to say he disagreed with Clinton than with Whitman?

    September 13, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. CNN=corporate non news

    Geez Jerry, this dead horse was beaten into powder by Ken Starr, et al. and I didn't think there was anything left!

    September 13, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. DIANA

    shame on you CNN for using that as your headline. I'm from California and WON'T vote for this lady trying to buy our state. I don't even know what she's for, there's no record to follow her. I'm afraid she'll start auctoning off our state parks on EBAY if she's elected.

    This is funny though, Brown hasn't spent as much as she has and he's still in a dead heat with her. Wait until he starts spending money Meg.

    September 13, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Bert

    Jerry Brown, leave Bill Clinton out of this. You are going to cause voters like me to cross party lines and vote for Meg, which I don't really want to.

    September 13, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. CNN=corporate non news

    @Keith in Austin:

    Given the brand of neo-conservatism fascism that has gripped this country since your hero came into office (or, more appropriately, when the Supreme Court gave him the presidency), this story is actually funny.

    September 13, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Peter s

    Most Republican are pathological liars!! what the aristocrate "Meg" is trying to do is systematically turn language to a weapon against Jerry while still covering her ego!! " I didn't say it, it's Bill Clinton the democrate who said It.". Meg is drunk with power and she thinks she can buy her way with dollars but sorry Meg, you can't put most Californians conscience on eBay because we are not on sale!! take your billion dollars and shove it!!

    September 13, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Brian

    Whitman may be a nut, too, but I wouldn't vote for any politician who has had anything to do with California politics in the last few decades. The state is broke and broken. Between the wealth of natural resources, the huge coastline, the Mediterranean climate, and the sheer volume of established international trade, culture, and science within its borders, it should be a model for other states. Any politician who was part of running the place into the ground shouldn't be managing a McDonalds, let alone a state. It's pathetic.

    September 13, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Get him Jerry! Brown would have been a lot smarter than Clinton not to do such stupid stuff. Whitman is also a real jackwagon to use video clips from '92 almost 2 decades ago and rely on slick Willie to find something negative to say about Jerry.

    September 13, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. CNN=corporate non news

    @keeth in california:

    That is EXACTLY CNNs aim. They are not a news organization (contrary to the second word in their name), and they do not employ journalists. They are nothing more than a propoganda arm for american corporations. The day that most americans realize this is the day that republicans become completely irrelevant as a political party. The corporate media is the only thing giving the GOP (including the T-baggers, who are nothing more than GOP in disguise – and not a very good one at that) any "credibility". They stand for "smaller government" (buzz words for no government), and "personal responsibility" (buzz words for you're on your own after we take everything you own).

    September 13, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. BB

    I am certainly not going to vote for Meg Whitman.
    I will vote for Jerry Brown.
    However, he did not have to stoop to the level he did,
    it was not necessary and it was very unbecoming.
    He's going to win, so he needs to refrain from such behavior
    towards our fellow Democrats. We can expect that kind of behavior from a Republican, but Democrats have more morals and values, so don't lower them to the Republican standard.

    September 13, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. I understand...

    I have alot of respect for Bill Clinton, But I do understand what Jerry Brown is doing and I am with him.. Keep in mind folks that Meg(trying to buy the election) whitman rolled out a AD of bill attacking Jerry when the way running against he other, so he had no choice but to do this.

    September 13, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. shooter

    Jerry Brown is a good guy. No corruption, no straight theft express, no straight talk styles of that old crook McCain. When he was governor of CA, ths state had 5 billions surplus, fustrated voters passed Proposition 13, which rolled back and then froze property taxes—effectively destroying the funding base of local governments and school districts, which thereafter depended largely on Sacramento for their revenue. Ranked fifth among the states in per-pupil spending during the 1950s and '60s, California sank to the mid-40s by the 1990s.
    Take a look a right now with Californa: with too many sanctuary cities and spending billions supporting illegal aliens. What is happening to the Golden State?

    September 13, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. a little sad

    Bad move, Brown. That just looked petulant.

    A lot of your supporters did so much better under Clinton that taking pot shots at him does you no favors.

    Save your ammunition for Meg. She's who you are running against.

    September 13, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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