Pete Wilson invokes Clinton sex scandal at Ryan fund-raiser
September 7th, 2012
01:22 AM ET
2 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. history bear

    Big deal. Clinton had sex with an intern. Both consenting adults. Should he have been open about it. Yes. Does it matter, no. Only in America would this be an issue. Should the dems bring up nixon and georgie's wars? What's worse, criminal behavior and illegal wars so your cronies can profit or a little head?

    September 7, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Reddog9500

    How come Pete didn't think to mention "Arnold" (Another Cah-lee-fornia Republican who couldn't keep his fly zipped up)?

    September 7, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. renonow2

    No one ever accused Pete Wilson of having any class.

    September 7, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. jdoe

    What's next? Will Republicans bring up JFK's indiscretions?

    September 7, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. bch

    When all else fails; the Republican like to think about SEX!

    September 7, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. DENNA

    Republicans only like Republican liars. Democratic liars bother them. Go figure.

    September 7, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Sid Prejean

    Pete, you're missing your 3 – 11 shift at Wal-Mart. Get your red vest and get back to work.

    September 7, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Saboth

    Wait, he was bashing someone else for being dishonest at a "Ly'in Ryan" fundraiser? I mean...my Ironicmeter just blew up in my hand." Just like Ly'in Ryan ran a marathon in 3 hours while scaling 40 mountains and Obama closed his dad's factory before Obama was in office, and Obama is cutting Medicare..by...oh wait, eliminating waste and fraud.

    September 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Big Jim

    I wonder if Pete Wilson "made it rain" at the strip club in Florida last week....

    September 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Ohcomeonnow

    Really– Pete Wilson? He was ancient when I was a child in CA! Please tell me there is a mistake in the quote and he didn't say "...the last time I seen him shaking his finger." I SEEN? Wow! Put this guy back in his nursing home Republicans...

    September 7, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. jennifer in Houston

    Blah blah blah.. I wonder how the Romney tax scandal will play out..

    September 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Collin

    *Sigh* just jealous cause Clinton did what they couldn't even with money. Besides, Republicans are the ones who try to claim the family/moral values platform. google: Republican family values hypocrisy and you can find a wealth of info.

    September 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Desert1

    Exactly right JJ,you dont throw rocks when you live in a glass house.

    September 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Bob

    So if I have this right the Republicans don't want to talk about or even think that Bush, War, Enron, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Leman Bros, Crooked Banks, Wall Street Spectulators, tax breaks for the rich, etc are to be talked about because they are old news BUT talking about a one time sex affair by Clinton 14 years ago IS. Sounds like the GOP way of thinking. Yep to heck with the poor, old, middle class, public safey, teachers, etc lets vote for the Rich because they are suffering so much.

    September 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. don in albuquerque

    "Clinton lied but no one died,
    Bush lied and........." Do I really need to finish this little ditty?

    September 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    Pete (from this pic) and the hag Jan Brewer from AZ can wag their bony fingers all they want...they are desperate and will now try anything to win. BTW, just read that Eddie Munster (Obamacare is an abomination) requested funds from the ACA to build a clinic in his district. Seems like he enjoys Stimulus $ and ACA $ when it helps him but he rails against it in public.....

    September 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. pat carr

    isn't this from the same people who say "STOP BLAMING BUSH!". This is ancient freaking news

    September 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. scarf

    As a California resident, I can say with all sincerity that much of what is wrong with California right now is due to the bumbling of this man when he was governor.

    September 7, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. billy davis

    Funny how they disregard Newt's cheating on multiple wives.

    September 7, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. george

    The GOP focused on Clinton's sex scandal while Osama Bin Laden was making his plans, then were asleep at the wheel before 9/11, and Pete Wilson was always a mean spirited idiot. Let them focus on sex and let them lose big in November.

    September 7, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Sue

    If Pete Wilson thinks he can sway people with this lame speech, he's sadly mistaken! People haven't forgotten about Clinton's indiscretion, but they're much more interested in moving our country forward rather than dwell on the past sexual encounters of former politicians! It simply has nothing to do with anything pertinent!! This speech is just a desperate attempt to slam the Democrats, however, it seems to me the GOP is quickly running out of idea with such a lame comment as this!

    September 7, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Lynn

    Go ahead and throw your rocks GOP, makes it easier to throw them back in their faces. Two words define them, Hypocrits and Greed.

    September 7, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. incredulous 1

    Seriously? That's the best response he could muster? Great example of lowering the bar of debate. Preaching hate has been done. Its old, its costly, its incredibly irresponsible. It's the spent fuel of an exhausted mind.

    September 7, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. pat carr

    Hey Pete what about Newt Gingrich? aren't you going to bring him up since you broguht up clinton?

    September 7, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. axolotl

    Clinton committed adultery.

    Bush and Cheney sent thousands of men and women off to be killed, maimed or mutilated, while profiting from their connections to Halliburton.

    Which is the greater sin?

    September 7, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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