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. Eiolgj

    Clinton's problems were embarrassing or worse, but serve to teach us a useful lesson: Nobody is perfect. Imperfect people can still achieve and do good things. Republicans, I know none of you (us) are perfect either. Those of you who live by the accusation will be brought down by the accusation. Besides, those who claim to be Christian should know the theology that we are all sinners in need of redemption. Who among the Reps is willing to admit his/her mistakes and sins publicly?

    September 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Janet

    Old news Pete!

    September 7, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. joejeffrey

    This is how you know Clinton clobbered the Republicans: they can think of nothing better to whine about than a sex scandal from the last century. Is there anything more boring than an old sex story? And the truth is they're a LOT more worried about Biden vs. Ryan than they let on. Biden may put his foot in his mouth, but he's a fighter, and he'll nail that lying SOB Ryan to the wall for his radical budget proposals and for telling the old and sick shoving them onto the street is giving them opportunity.

    September 7, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Chat Pata

    Pete Wilson failed to mention Watergate scandal where the Repub president lied to cover the misuse of government power for political purpose. What Clinton did was wrong, but he was just trying to cover his personal life dirt. Unlike Repub Gov. Sanford, he did not use government money for his sex. Clinton was a hero who turned the failed economic policies of Reagan and papa Bush. He converted a 4 trillion dollar deficit to a surplus in 8 years and admits even he could not turnaround in 4 years the mess of Reagonomics version 2 tha Bush Jr. left after 8 years. Now do we want Reagonomics version 3? This would sink the USA for good.

    September 7, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Gezellig

    Ahh, Pete Wilson. In a classless all by himself.

    September 7, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. No Class Pete

    Pete Wilson: the kind of guy who gets caught in a sex scandal & about having a secret illicit affair.

    Not surprised...at all.

    September 7, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Ann

    I love the Clintons, I believe Bill was an exceptional president and I supported Hillary 4 years ago. I don't care about the sex scandal.. Clinton was too good for the country. But.. it is true that Bill's speech was remarkable, but not credible.. I also thought of his ability of lying without blinking for political purposes. While I was watching, I keep asking: Why are you doing this?

    September 7, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. R Santos

    Wilson's remarls about Bill Clinton are old news and not as old as Gingrich's indiscretion or Romeny's money abroad. the GOP continues its hateful campaign.

    September 7, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. joejeffrey

    This is how you know Clinton clobbered the Republicans: they can think of nothing better to whine about than a sex scandal from the last century. Is there anything more boring than an old sex story? And the truth is they\'re a LOT more worried about Biden vs. Ryan than they let on. Biden may put his foot in his mouth, but he\'s a fighter, and he\'ll nail that lying SOB Ryan to the wall for his radical budget proposals and for telling the old and sick shoving them onto the street is giving them opportunity.

    September 7, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Scott

    Where are the Republicans to defend Mr Wilson? I guess even their constiuents know the have nothing. Romney and Ryan are running a poor campaign, which scares me. Has Bush taught them how to cheat the vote tally? Do they know they are going to win anyway?

    September 7, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Redmon

    I would take Clinton again for all his spots. At least he could if cornered admit them. Unlike the messiah of the DNC now he knew how to pivot to make us prosperous.

    September 7, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Tony

    Clinton is a human being with flaws. Romney is a robot with no plans.

    September 7, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Double b

    Really???
    14 years ago... that's all they got? Billy's indiscretions? No plans, no vision, no EMPATHY for anyone but the rich?
    Pathetic

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. JoeW

    Wow–Pete Wilson just doesn't get it. If the GOP is going to win this election, the ONLY thing they should be talking about in public and in fund raisers is the economy. That's it. The more that anyone from the GOP brings up...birth certificates....Clinton's cheating....gay marriage....the more the rest of the American public identify with the Democratic narrative which is: "okay, we've still got a mess but those people created it and besides, you don't want to put them back in power b/c they're wacko." Agree with it or not, but the culture wars that Limbaugh and others like to push are a huge negative to the GOP this election cycle.

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. i'm confused

    Ok isn't the only small shred of hope that mittens robme has even a snowballs chance of hell in winning this election entirely based on our currently poor economy? So if I recall correctly, didn't Bill Clinton PRESIDE OVER THE LARGEST PEACETIME ECONOMIC EXPANSION IN THIS NATION'S HISTORY? Well attacking the guy for banging some scank will definitely play well to your holier than thou, religious extremist, trailer trash base but nobody else is going to pay any attention to this both ironic & pathetic attack strategy....lol! =)

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Say_NO_to_four_more_years

    Past is past. Clinton was impeached anyway. So let's move on.

    September 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. i'm confused

    Ok isn't the only small shred of hope that mittens robme has even a snowballs chance of hell in winning this election entirely based on our currently poor economy? So if I recall correctly, didn't Bill Clinton PRESIDE OVER THE LARGEST PEACETIME ECONOMIC EXPANSION IN THIS NATION'S HISTORY? Well attacking the guy for sleeping with some scank will definitely play well to your holier than thou, religious extremist, trailer trash base but nobody else is going to pay any attention to this both ironic & pathetic attack strategy....lol! =)

    September 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. annieL

    BEFORE President Clinton had sex with that woman and had his privacy violated as no American would tolerate, he got the Family and Medical Leave Act passed with Republican cooperation. Since then millions of America's mothers have been able to bond with their newborn babies or care for a seriously ill child or spouse with job protection, as have millions of other workers taking leave to care for sick elderly parents. Republicans can't make me forget the lasting good that Mr. Clinton did with their cheap shots at his sexual indiscretion.

    September 7, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. cwgmpls

    You mean that time when Republicans were busy examining blue dresses while Bin Laden was running free around Afghanistan? That sex scandal?

    September 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Linda

    Former President Clinton's worst day is better than the GOPs best day! GOPs reckoning on all fronts; foreign, domestic is threatening in itself to Americans who are beginning to recover from the GOPs freefall failed ideology. Vote for Obama and regain House.

    September 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Go back to the nursing home Pete!

    September 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. T Ferguson

    IIf we need drugs to deal with Joe Biden, we can always call Rush Limbaugh.

    September 7, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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