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. Up And Down

    One Jerry Brown + one Bill Clinton = a bowl a mush. Bill Clinton did what any red-blooded man would do when he gets caught in an adulterous affair, LIE! DENY! Besides, Monica Lewinsky was a foxy gal who did not run out the door and yell rape. She wanted it too.

    September 13, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Cindy

    Meg Witman using a debunked sound bite to stoke misinformation about her opponent?

    How unbecoming of a potential governor. I hope this loses her massive votes.

    September 13, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. shooter

    As Governor, Brown proposed the establishment of a state space academy and the purchasing of a satellite that would be launched into orbit to provide emergency communications for the state—a proposal similar to one that was indeed eventually adopted. In 1979, an out-of-state columnist, Mike Royko, then at the Chicago Sun-Times, nicknamed Brown "Governor Moonbeam".
    A year later Royko expressed his regret for creating the nickname and in 1991 he disavowed it entirely, proclaiming Brown to be just as serious as any other politician.
    Who had that type of future vision? Bill Clinton? Obama?

    September 13, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. a little sad

    Is Whitman using 20 year old comments because she has yet to finish catching up on the 28 years she had so little interest in the people and the government of the US that she could not be bothered even voting?

    When do you think she catch up to the 20th century?

    September 13, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. KPATL

    Jerry,.. Clinton is lieing when he opens his mouth,.. just like you...

    September 13, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. stormerF

    Wonder why the CNN reporter that lied then would be believed now? If the Lame stream media lies,why would anyone believe them now? Where is the honor is honest reporting of the facts? They wonder why their ratings are so low? It should be obvious people get tired of listening to lies from the media.

    September 13, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. BKrause

    Whitman, a horse with no saddle, a canoe with no paddle, will grab at any straw hoping that it'll get traction. She's only a white rich gal who was lucky. She's so engaged that she didn't even care to vote until 2002. She's lost me.

    September 13, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Jack

    Now here is a pair to draw to. Moonbeam and Bill the womanizer. A spaced out cadet and a liar. Good combination.

    September 13, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. annie s

    Jerry brown was an exceptionally good Governor who managed to balance the budget and improve education in California. If I was still back in my beloved home state, he'd have my vote in a heartbeat.

    September 13, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Jason

    Jerry Brown is nothing compared to BC in ability as a politician and public official–BC was and is still one of the most intelligent American leaders and politicians this country has ever seen.

    September 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. PacificView

    Whitman is repeating something in her ads that she knows is false. She is a flat out liar. She is counting on people not knowing the facts to get people to vote for her. Not Governer material.

    Wake up folks, this story is not about Bill Clinton, its about Meg Whitman and her lies.

    September 13, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Papasan in AZ

    NutMeg has spent $100 Million Dollars to get a $500k a year job.
    Only a crazy person would do that, unless she intends on selling out California to get her cash back?

    September 13, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. diamond78199

    sure jerry might be a nut, but i think he is honest. the people of california can't be serious about letting meg whitman buy this election.you have to have more pride than that!

    September 13, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Clinton and Brown both are moonbats.

    September 13, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Frank

    Can someone tell me why this is important news from years gone by? Is there anything else out there

    September 13, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. YY

    If all Meg has is something proven false from 20 years ago? then Jerry must be squeaky clean. Go Jerry!!! I for one am sick of seeing Meg every other commercial. Shut up already!

    September 13, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Chuck

    How does the fact that Brown's opponent is using a 20 year old clip of untrue statements as political ammunition get buried in the lead?

    The headline of this story is pretty much the epitome of everything that's wrong with today's media coverage of politics.

    September 13, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. MikeH

    Oh, imagine that, CNN's report wasn't factual.

    That said, hey Jerry, let it go and move on. Focus on the tasks at hand today, focus on Meg and HER lies.

    September 13, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    While Meg Whitman is a complete sham of a person, what the hell is Jerry Brown thinking with his new remark about President Clinton? Clinton is arguably the most popular Democrat right now. Does he only want controversial Democrats stumping with him? Think before you diss well-respected fellow democrats.

    September 13, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. russinmaine

    Hey Jerry, the gig's over, Linda Ronstadt moved on can't you do us all a favor and do the same thing. You are historically part of the problem not a breath of fresh air as you would like all to perceive!

    September 13, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. brett favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    Brown is better for California. Here is why

    1. Meg [Whitman] skipped many elections (didn't vote)
    2. Meg didn't found eBay; under her helm, eBay wrote off $1.39B in loss in acquiring Skype (on a $2.15B quarterly revenue). Luckily, eBay was able to absorb the only loss in its entire history! Read it yourself, http://bit.ly/meg-lies
    3. Meg is buying her way into politics

    Let's not be fooled by her phony façade, or money!

    September 13, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Robert

    All those against Meg....I will only ask you who has equivalent credentials in job creation and balancing budgets – including our current House/Senate and White House representatives – NONE! She made her millions by job creation, and running a business from 18 people to thousands!!!! Brown has NO experience but political. I for one am for a change, and if that change is from someone who was in the private sector and knows how to create jobs and balance budgets and get spending under control – yeah!!!!! And by the way – how is her ad untruthful? Bill Clinton made the statements – or don't you remember?

    September 13, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. David Scott

    Meg is a lying, bigoted racist who plans to BUY THE ELECTION .She has not voted in 28 years... she deserves nothing from Californians.

    September 13, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. The Real Me

    Jerry, give it up. That was 20 years ago. Try living in the current no the past.

    September 13, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. David Scott

    CNN is becoming another FUX NEWS., Fair and balanced? Meg Whitman is just a RICH WITCH THAT WANTS THE POWER. She is a lying rip-publican, what's new?

    September 13, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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