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. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Yes God gave the Republicans Ryan the Liar -who even lies about his marathon times

    September 7, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  2. w l jones

    Wisdom come with age the light weight do not have to think what to say but the heavy weight is burden what to say. Said enough.

    September 7, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  3. amlcpamaine

    This is NO lame. Where are the jobs?!? Where are the tax returns, Mitt?

    September 7, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And how many skeletons would be found if your closet was given a good cleaning?

    September 7, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  5. tess

    where has that man been! he says exactly what millions are thinking but don't say – keep it up pete, we need plain english spoken here and now!

    September 7, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  6. DFW2

    The Republicans have stepped to a new low!

    September 7, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. j williamson

    Aw give it a break! Bringing up something that happened what (?) 15 years back – and somehow trying to taint Obama with it? File this one under "grasping at straws." I'm not a huge Obama fan, but this is indicative of how scared Repubs must be. Clinton's speech was great by the way!

    September 7, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. LiLa

    Ageing? Has Gov. Wilson looked in the mirror lately?

    September 7, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  9. g

    they left out the cheney lie–clinton lied noboby died

    September 7, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Canuck

    The Republicans should be ashamed and embarassed that they cannot bring their last President onto the stage to help their candidate, heck , they didn't even mention his name at their convention. What does that say about their party – please forget about the last guy we had in office???

    September 7, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |

    Pete Wilson was a terrible governor.

    September 7, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. Sandy

    The Republicans look quite petty attacking a successful former President, especially after just praising him as a good Democrat.

    September 7, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. imvotingforobama

    Lets talk about all the Repubaggers who committed sins! Oh I don't have enough room to list them all.

    September 7, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    What's next in the desperation line-up there GOP...Whitewater?

    September 7, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. kmp

    ahhh yes coming from the party the perfect party. Lets see a Governor who disappeared only to resurface in Argentina. Or the Senator who tried to cover up his affair with a staffer with hush money. Or the Rep. who resigned due to craigslist photos. Or, Or need I go on, yeah I don't think so.

    September 7, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. ARose81

    Wow, who knew Pete Wilson was still alive? Romney is calling up all the reserves. Who is next? I await the appearance of Dan Quayle.

    September 7, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. sawlz

    Well we now know what the repukelican strategy and platform is...scape the bottom of the barrel.

    September 7, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    Franky I do not give darn hoot at these allegations nevertheless truthful, because the are personal And common.

    September 7, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. That Guy

    The GOP keeps writing checks their policies can't cash.. Literally.

    September 7, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Get_Real

    Bill Clinton was the reason why his wife didn't have a chance back in 2008. Gov. Wilson just pointed out the inconvenient truth.

    September 7, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. The fact is

    Clinton is not running for president this time, his scandal is not Obama's scandal. Don't try to paint a picture with one brush. Talking about scandals, the republicans are not short of them.

    September 7, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. mhub

    Dredging up something from how long ago? These people are absurd, but I guess they don't have anything else to go on. Pretty cheap, and weak, shot.

    September 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  23. Lyin Ryan should be an Olympian

    Flip-flopping has infected the entire GOP it appears. Bill Clinton is to be praised according to Twit and Lyin, now old has been Pete bad for Cali Wilson is trying to flip the script. Where's Newt on this?

    September 7, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  24. Core republican Values

    Core republican Value #42 "Let me who is filthy and swimming in sin, cast as many stones as I can hurl."

    September 7, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  25. coy4one

    This is pretty low and grasping for straws! Keep it up GOP, these kind of things will definitely turn the undecided over to Obama. First, it's been too long for most of the young people to know, or remember Clinton's White House days, and second, THEY DON'T CARE! Opening old wounds is a sign of weakness and I am beginning to think that the GOP has no control over it's membership and if allowed to dig up old news to slander the present, the GOP will fail!

    September 7, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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