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. jen

    Are you Kidding me!!!! That is pretty petty that the Repukes go after something that happened a long time ago. I'm not worried about what clinton did a long time ago. I thought Obama was running for office, not Clinton. Patheic Repukes.

    September 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. ALKP

    Pete Wilson. Enough said and enough read. Just had to read the title to stop reading.

    September 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. marinedad05

    Why didn't Pete remind California voters about Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor, and his maid? That would have been much closer to home.

    Pete was one of the worst governors of California.

    September 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. Mike

    Yup, and the same one Nixon used. You sure you want to open that can of beans, Petie boy?

    September 7, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Scott Wallace

    Oh yeah. I keep forgetting Republicans never cheat on their wives. And only have sex in the missionary position to procreate. YEAH RIGHT!

    September 7, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. JR

    Really Gov. Wilson? is that all you can come up with is that? A sex scandal from 13 years ago. What about the surplus issue that we had and then W came in and his cabinet, of Chevron, Haliburton and others and stripped us clean of any reserve we had. Got us in a WAR that we didn't have to be in, Iraq, and don't use the excuse Saddam was a madman, we know that, but there are other madman out there that the little cowboy and madman didn't take on. It was about oil, revenge, doing it better than daddy did. Clinton was great president and yes he made a mistake, have YOU! Don't answer that because it would take too long.

    September 7, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. clarke

    God fearing, God loving GOP. Yes, Bill did wrong, no one knows better than him and his family. Weather you believe it or not, he has paid for his sin and has probably been forgiven by his family and friends and even God. I find this to be a an all time low, by the GOP, to place judgement. I am not sure about their God, but mine does not judge. They may want to ask God for forgiveness for their own sins.

    September 7, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Cynthia

    What Clinton did is dead history. His wife saw fit to forgive him and he has lost NO respect with the American people. This is just another low blow from the frantic Republican Party. They will STOOP TO ANY LEVEL. They are EMBARRASSED about NOTHING.

    September 7, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Dar

    Come on guys, Clinton LIES, he was impeached for his lies back then and he still lies. Old dogs dont change their spots.
    So how can anyone truthfully believe him without wondering what it truth and what is fake BS.

    Dont get me wrong, all politicans lie thru their teeth but Billy was caught in some big ones. I still like him, but..........

    September 7, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Senator Larry Craig

    Is that the best the GOP can come up with? Somethang from the last millennia?

    September 7, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. Phyllis G Williams

    "All have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3: 23)
    "Who art thou that judgest another Man's servant...God is able to make him stand" (Romans 14: 4)

    September 7, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. John

    Bill Clinton lied, nobody died, George Bush lied, over 4200 U.S. service members died in Iraq, over 32000 U.S. seer members were wounded, untold amount of Iraqis were killed and wounded. As a wounded Iraqi war vet I live with those lies everyday. Bill Clinton's moral failure had no effect on our country. The Bush lies will continue to effect us for decades.

    September 7, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. Neng Xiong

    So Clinton got a BJ in the Oval Office. I'll concede that it was a "big" deal for the young lady and the Republicans! But to the rest of us, Americans, it's not as if he lied about weapons of "mash" destruction and sent Americans to kill and die in a country that had NOTHING to do with the 9/11 attacks! and spent 2 trillion dollars in the process sending our country into an economic tailspin. Republicans REALLY want us to return to those days...lies, deaths, killing, and bankruptcy...but, hey, we'll have god fearing men in the oval office, right? Guys, do you promise to give me a reach-around if you get elected?

    September 7, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. mw-maryland

    That's all the GOP has? Ancient history.

    September 7, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. James

    Can we leave the '90s behind? The Clinton sex scandals and what is "is". The government shut down. New Gingrich's blustering and the Contract with America. The culture wars that pit a vice president against TV character named Murphy Brown. Let's starting talking about what's going on 15 to 20 years later. Give the '90s a rest. We have enough to debate and deal with today.

    September 7, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. ritmocojo

    Ans so surfaces one of the witch hunters from the past.

    September 7, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Steve

    Seriously! Isn't it time to give this up...Republicans are getting so nervous now that they have to use tactics and games dating back to the 90s. Come on already!

    September 7, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. Ryan Stevens

    Who is Pete Wilson–some has-been political from the past? Get a grip Pete, Obama had nothing to do with those events of years ago and don't discount the contribution Bill Cliniton makes to the nation feeling better about itself. Even though we do not condone the ethical behavior of an affair, that is really between a man and his wife in my book and it ends there. There was never any doubt who was the most intellectual man in the room when Bill Clinton entered. I would have voted for Clinton for a 3rd term and if any Republican could ever match his record I would be happy to turn a blind eye to their ilicit affairs which have been just as frequent. We all did great under the Clinton administration, both Republicans and Democrats. You notice that the Republicans were wise enought not to drag out George Bush at their convention, or you either for that matter. We need to respect the contributions of former presidents (including republicans) and know it is not an easy job. But at the end of the day, Clinton was more factual and Ryan was in his speech. Let's let the Clinton sex scandle die-it is old news.

    September 7, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  19. Cal

    Looks like they are gong to dig to try and knockdown anyone they can.
    The only difference between President Clinton and pretty much any other politician, is he got caught.
    He suffered enough.
    Enough said

    September 7, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Hotdog

    This shows how bad the Republicans want the White House back to stoop to this level. The Republicans did not use G.W. Bush or Dick Cheney to support their candidate because they know people are aware how much damage that they have done to this country. It is as plain as the nose own your face.

    September 7, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. VA VERY Ex Republican

    hehehehehehe. you are so bankrubt of ideas that you had to mention this. OK, let us see how many repblicans where invloved in sex scandals the last 10 years and start talking about them one by one. you call yourselves God fearing guys, well guess what???? Clinton had an affair with a woman, your married male GOP reps and senators have affairs with MEN. Clinton did what he did in the oval office when no one was there. your Idaho guy did it in an Airport for God sake. so maybe you should do a fact check before opening your big mouth.

    September 7, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. indyreader

    Repubs recoil and complain every time anyone even hints at mentioning the economic and diplomatic disaster that resulted from the GWBush years – NOOO!!! YOU CAN'T KEEP BLAMING BUSH!!!1!1 – but STILL, a decade and a half later, can't give up the BUHH-BUUU-B-BUUU-BUT Clinton! If it didn't paint such a tragic picture of the state of what passes for substantive rhetoric in the Republican party, and if it didn't have a palpable dumbing effect on the entirety of public discourse on big political questions that really matter, and if it didn't call into question the fundamental fitness of any of these whiners to man even a toll-booth on the Jersey Turnpike, let alone public office,.... it'd STILL not even qualify as hilarious, 'cos it's just so *&^#$^ sad.
    Seriously – Clinton got a beej in his office. Bush's regime ginned up bogus evidence to justify a war on a country that, while certainly not one of our best buds, wasn't posing us any clear and imminent danger – and how many thousands of our own kids died in that war? – and THAT after he dropped the ball on Bin Laden after being SPECIFICALLY WARNED by Clinton, and 9-11 happened ON HIS WATCH! Kid yourself all you want, but holding a grudge about one of these things or the other are NOT MORALLY EQUIVALENT POSITIONS.

    September 7, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. ironman59

    Clinton isn't running for office so it is irrelevant what happened in his life. If the gop want to dig up items from 15 years ago then let's bring out mitt's tax returns from 10 years ago. Let's bring up mitt's behavior at Bain including applying for stimulus money yet now claiming it's evil. Let's bring up that mitt implemented universal healthcare in his state but now thinks it's evil. It's just more childish behavior from the gop.

    September 7, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. ja

    give us something else, such as romney's offshore bank accounts , or his failure of full disclosure of his taxes, there will be enough secrecy, without full disclosure, we deserve to know,

    September 7, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. Average Joe

    He makes a good point. Clinton did try to bend and twist the very definition of sex, of all things, to his advantage; a lawyer to the core. It does make you wonder how well you can trust his version of anything.

    September 7, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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