Pete Wilson invokes Clinton sex scandal at Ryan fund-raiser
September 7th, 2012
01:22 AM ET
6 years ago

Pete Wilson invokes Clinton sex scandal at Ryan fund-raiser

(CNN) – Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night reminded at least one Republican of another time the former president stepped before the microphones.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson said Thursday at a fundraiser for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that Clinton's finger shake was reminiscent of the time he denied engaging in sexual behavior with a White House intern, and he used the moment to jab at the former president.

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"How many of you watched that little show last night?" the California Republican asked the day after Clinton's major speech before the Democratic Party, according to a pool report. "The return of Bill Clinton? You know, all through that… all I can think of was the last time I seen him shaking his finger."

To laughter, Wilson paraphrased the famous Clinton line from a 1998 press conference: "I did not have sex with that woman."

Speaking at the Beverley Hills fundraiser, he continued to skewer the former president, questioning Clinton's credibility.

"I figured that anyone who can redefine sex as he did in that moment is fully capable of redefining economics, which he tried to do last night," Wilson said.

Among other points, Clinton argued in his remarks at the convention that Romney's proposal to handle the national debt failed "the first test of fiscal responsibility" and was based on numbers that "don't add up." But President Barack Obama's plan, he said, would deal with the national debt before "it will deal with us."

While the campaigns will wage war over the coming weeks, the true head-to-head battles will take place in the presidential debates and vice presidential debate, all of which come in October, just weeks ahead of the November election.

And that is something to which Wilson looks forward.

The number two debate, between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP running mate Paul Ryan, is a fight between "an ageing lightweight against a youthful heavyweight."

"God," continued Wilson, "sometimes I think he must be a Republican: he gave us Joe Biden, who is good for at least one gaffe a day. How would you like to be his keeper? You'd need a year's worth of valium."

Filed under: 2012 • California • Paul Ryan • President Clinton
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. cynthia

    The republicans will never get over their jealously for Bill Clinton. He has heart...they have hate. BTW, he who is without sin...have at it!!!

    September 7, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  2. tsb610

    To Pete Wilson: Pathetic. You can't refute Clinton's statements and claims, so this is the best you can come up with?!?

    September 7, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  3. OCCavoter

    I didn't vote for Wilson. He was a terrible governor for CA. He's such a hater.

    September 7, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  4. John

    GOP has truly lost its way. They are vindictive and full of hate....

    September 7, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  5. tosser

    Hmmmm. I don't plan on voting for Obama. But crap like this insures I won't vote for Romney either. Gary Johnson or Ron Paul seem like fine fellows worthy of a vote instead.

    September 7, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  6. MessiahNoMo

    “Barack, you’re no Bill Clinton”

    September 7, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. Jim

    I will gladly take a gaff over a LIE anytime. Ryan is a Lyan if his mouth is moving.

    September 7, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  8. RapidOne

    Makes Pete Wilson look pretty jealous and bitter. Lies and family value issues??? Should Republicans really be talking about this at all? Well, they are heavily the party of liars and hypocrites afterall.

    September 7, 2012 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  9. Dan

    It is all about the past: Clinton, Kennedy, Roosevelt, and give Obama more time..... new ideas by name only!

    September 7, 2012 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  10. frontgate

    Another pathetic republican living in the past. Republicans want to bring back the old days of yesteryear . Pathetic.
    Pete who?????

    September 7, 2012 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  11. Carl

    OH PLEASE! Is that all you have Pete?

    September 7, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  12. KeepinItReal

    Why does the repubs believe if they have no substance then they have to hit below the belt. President Clinton is not in the running. And whatever personal issue he had has nothing to do with his leadership. Can the repubs for once calm down and stop fishing in a pond where there is no fish.

    September 7, 2012 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  13. Marry

    Gov. Pete Wilson must be eating his heart out! Not as brilliant, not as sharp, not as admired for his accomplishments worldwide and not liked nearly that much by the ladies. Well some got it all, some got nothing – like the GOP!

    President Obama / VP Biden 2012 Forward...

    September 7, 2012 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  14. jas

    What about your credibility governor? You got kicked out of office because YOU couldn't straighten out a failed social state.

    September 7, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  15. vadkov

    Can anybody choose Joe Biden over Paul Rayen?!!

    September 7, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  16. Mr Smith

    That " aging lightweight " is going to use Ryan to mop the flloor in a debate. And as far as Clinton, his record is 23 million new jobs created in his 8 years, who cares that he screwed monica, he did'nt screw the American people.

    September 7, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  17. Jarsbait

    Big dog: 69% approval rating

    Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent

    September 7, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  18. craig

    GOP remembers Clinton's personal behavior but cannot seem to recall eight disastrous years of Bush in the White House.

    September 7, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  19. Teflon President

    They called Reagan the A"tefflon president," but clearly Clinton is made of the same or better.

    The Dems love him. The GOP smile at his good 'ol boy, foksy ways.

    September 7, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  20. dreucalypt

    Pretty empty argument by now, it seems. But that's all Pete Wilson has.

    September 7, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  21. bassman

    Bill Clinton's crooked finger pointing at me during his speech with a girl his daughers age reminded all Republicans.

    September 7, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  22. J.R.Roberts

    Can you say "desperation"?

    September 7, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  23. ReganDem

    Seriously! You're using a hand gesture to bring up something that happend over a decade ago as a talking point for your candidate. I guess we as Republicans are desparate.

    September 7, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  24. VW MAN

    He who is without sin cast the first stone.

    September 7, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    And Cllinton has moved on from that to become a respected world stateman-even touring with the elder Bush-obviously this man is horribly short on ideas-this is a whole new century-keep up -with references we can relate to in this century

    September 7, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
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