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. Indie

    Oh please!! Enough already!

    September 7, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. Sue

    Wow, they pulled Pete Wilson out of the mothballs. Um Pete, how did you leave California as Governor? In the toilet. How did Pres. Clinton leave the White House at the end of his term? Low unemployment, balanced budget and a surplus. I think I will stick with Clinton on governing.

    September 7, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. mike

    what a pathetic little man!

    September 7, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  4. Here we go again

    The party of no solutions.

    September 7, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. SMSainju

    Running out of ideas.....

    September 7, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  6. truthfulgiant

    It didn't work then, and it won't work now. The people will see past this, as President Clinton is enjoying a nearly 70% favorability standing now. After the scandal, when impeachment talks were going on, 96% of the people did not want him removed from office. This is just political BS. The man is not a candidate for this election.

    September 7, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. mommytwice

    I have to say, if this tired old, ancient history is all they have to come back with, then they are DONE. Pathetic.

    September 7, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. Devin

    Sour grapes I suppose. The trolls that walked into the RNC were boring, in bad taste and quite drab. The RNC showed us why they are the party of yesterday and why they cannot modernize. They have an electorate that is ignorant and with zero diversity. It also appears that they have a hard time trotting W out to the public because of how bad it would look and how bad it would be received by the general public. BTW, the job's numbers came out and unemployment went down to 8.1 If it goes down below 8% around election day, POTUS is almost surely re-elected.

    September 7, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. Really?

    Do y'all remember when Bill said, "it depend on what the meaning of the word is, is"?
    Leave it to "Slick Willy" to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people and the justice system. Here's the guy who perjured himself and now the Democrats present him as one of their heroes. As far as the new campaign motto "forward" goes I can tell you this: it depends on what the word "forward" means. Obama, Warren, Ayers, Frank Davis (Obama's mentor) et al are "forwarding" us into Commu nism. When Barack says "give me more time" he means he wants more time to try to seal the deal.

    September 7, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  10. Tex71

    While this might work on the already brainwashed GOP-red-meat-swallowing base, it will only remind independents of the enormous hypocrisy of Gingrich in accusing Clinton of what he, Gingrich, was equally guilty of at the same moment!
    It will also bring to mind the uncomfortable fact that Republicans are far more frequently in the news for adultery and, oh I don't know, stuff like speed-dating in public restrooms (cough cough Larry Craig cough).

    September 7, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    I think the should give Clinton a medal !!!!go bill!!!!

    September 7, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. Tex71

    "Scared" is an understatement for the mood of Republicans right now – more accurately they are trying not to soil their collectible Wehrmacht underwear. Or in some cases, magic underwear.

    September 7, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. Tom

    That s enough and stop for being personal neagative to others. Wilson was not a great governor anyway. Republicans don't have any words to say so they use to attack someone's personal!!! SAD!

    September 7, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. ohgran

    If Romney has more campaigning for him like Pete Wilson, the President will win in a landslide! Americans deserve to know just what their plans are for the middle class and not the upper class–if they really have any.

    September 7, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  15. Fortinbras

    Long before Karl Rove, George Bush, Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer, and Fox News, Pete Wilson was perfecting the use of hateful politics for modern use.. Pete Wilson is who to look at if one wonders where and how the moder Hateful politic.s began.

    September 7, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  16. calvin smith

    Where was Bush at the RNC? Wow this is the response to the DNC. How about talking about what the republicans will do to move america forward. SHAME ON YOU......

    September 7, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  17. vc

    it was a cheap and shallow shot that only makes you look bad.

    September 7, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  18. Country Above Parties

    "The return of Bill Clinton... ALL I can think of was the last time I seen him shaking his finger." Another LOW ball Repurg are capable of. Clinton brought the country to unprecedented prosperity with big surplus which California was among the biggest benefactor. Given the mega mess Bushie left behind, Obama is moving it in the right direction. People, see the big picture...Bush (I mean Romney) will take us all back to where Bush left off.

    September 7, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. Anonymous

    The U.S. economy added 96,000 jobs in August, the government reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%

    VOTE Obama

    September 7, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. v_mag

    How do you justify bringing up a lie about an interpersonal relationship that happened 14 years ago and totally ignore the BIG LIE from the Liar In Chief George W. Bush about WMD that led to the deaths of over 100000 Americans and Iraqis? There is no comparison. Bush Lied, People Died. Or maybe people's lives are of no concern to Repugnants?

    And by the way, where is old George W. in all the hoopla? Hiding in a bunker guarding Mittler's tax returns? W is a bit too embarrassing, even for Repugnants, who have almost no ability to be embarrassed by their multitude of sins.

    September 7, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Does he really wanna go there? Dick Cheney shot a man in the face. The Bush Administration LIED us into war at the cost of our soldiers lives. Nothing wrong with a BJ in my opinion.

    September 7, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. Jack V

    I'm waiting for the day a Republican can give an optimistic speech. You only get one life & passing through it in a perpetually sour state of mind isn't the way to go.

    September 7, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. reneeinINDY

    wow talk about PERSONSAL attacks...NONE of that had anything to do with the issues and facts that was said in the speeches from both President Clinton and VP Biden. I thought they said "let talk about the issues."

    September 7, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  24. ATL Guy

    I'm confused. Wasn't it Romney and Ryan who were trying to sing Clinton praises a few days ago? Now he's some sleazy old man?

    September 7, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  25. Michael

    Women should have a choice to be free of sexual predators and abusers. That is the choice democrats and republicans should be talking about not the choice to have federal funding for birth control.

    September 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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