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. v_mag

    Repugs are so desperate to distract from the Bush regime, whose lies caused the deaths of countless innocent people. Bush is currently hiding in a bunker, guarding Mittler's tax returns, I guess.

    Romney = Bush

    September 7, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. John

    What is worse redefining sex or redefining Rape?

    September 7, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. Grace

    So, God forgives my past and someone else keeps bringing it up! I'll rather move forward with God's Grace and Love. Move forward, President Clinton!

    September 7, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. lyn

    Wilson and the Morons of the Republican party should be ashame of themselves, Where was Cheney & Bush at your Convention? Clinton we love him and if we can have him all over again we will elect him again for President. I can't say that you GOP's will do that for Bush you are ashame of him because he leave us in America in the BIGGEST MESS ever, it shows in your Convention. Clinton knows that our President Obama is taking us in the right direction moving us forward. SO SHAME ON YOU GOP's.

    September 7, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Romney/Ryan = Bought & Paid For All Along

    Republicans spent over 91 million dollars of the taxpayer's money on their Starr Commission's investigation of Clinton's BJ. They are absolutely pathetic in now bringing it up once more.

    When your stuck with two spoiled, pampered rich boys for candidates, one a "chicken-hawk-draft-dodger" and the other a pathological liar who wants to kill Medicare, you find yourself grasping for straws...

    The Republicans have offered no sepcifics on anything. They are both hiding their tax returns. The Romney Campaign is going down in flames in spite of the billions spent by fat-cats to buy their candidate.

    September 7, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. WiredweirdinSF

    More people need to be reminded that Clinton lied to the legal system and the American people and has never stopped lying.

    September 7, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. josh1010

    Jeez, if Hillary could get over this episode, don't you think it is time for you (Pete Wilson) to get over it??

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

    Really GOP – that's the best you can do? I don't care for Clinton much, but how about talking on the future of our country and working together instead of just being a tabloid magazine mouthpiece?

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

    Oh yeah, Pete Wilson, remember NIXON and Watergate!

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

    Republicans have lost it. They bring up something that happened years ago and not even to the candidate, but one of his supporters. Really? I don't think Republicans should start bringing up scandals since there are plenty to go around. In fact, one of the recent presidential candidates has had multiple marriages where he cheated on the wife he had with the woman that was to be his next wife. I think if everyone's closet was inspected, we could surely find something in there that would be a scandal by someone's standards.

    September 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. yem

    It scares me to think even hypothetically a republican in the WH.The country will be damned for another four years. Why did they get so backward? They want to take women to the dark ages ? I urge every woman to not let that happen.Don't stay silent. Talk, walk, work, volunteer, educate others what Romney/Ryan will do to women. And finally, VOTE

    September 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  12. Still Undecided?

    It makes me think – the first few days of the convention we hear from just about every Democrat woman or woman's cause. Pro choice, Lilly Leadbetter, etc. Thats great – I can see why they are doing that; appealing to a voter base that shows Obama significantly ahead.
    Then the Dem's roll out one of the biggest WOMANIZER'S in their party's history?
    No reaction – nothing... Maybe Herman Cain could speak for women's rights too – they both seem to follow the same moral compass

    September 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. andysbasura

    Sounds like a tactic of a dying party. No less from an awful former governor.

    September 7, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    That's why he's a former govoner like romney the tax cheat ,both failures!!!!!

    September 7, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    I thought all you Republicans LIKED President Clinton. Oh, yeah. I forgot. You all spent 8 long years trying to get him out of office too, thanks to Gingrich and Company. Shawn Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh ( made a fortune off of Bill Clinton. And all you fools lapped it up like eager little tail chasers.

    Some things never change ... not if you are Republican anyway.

    September 7, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. JustAnotherPoster

    @j williamson, I think the Reps would forget about what happened 15 years ago if the dems do as well. Why is it everytime they are facing some dips in the polls they have to bring out Clinton to save their butts again? They did it 4 years ago and again now, so why can the Reps bring up the fact that the so called Dem president great was caught having multiple affairs while representing this country?

    I like Clinton, good speaker, but both parties should be able to use his strengths and weaknesses to their advantages if he is going to be paraded around on stage again.

    September 7, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. Ready

    Billy boy was guilty of perjury, have we forgotten??

    September 7, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Dawn

    This is so typical of the GOP, always can count on them to be hateful and spiteful.
    It's so hilarious to listen to them speak, without ever mentioning President Bush. They act as if since President Clinton left Office the country ran itself until President Obama got elected. They alll sat there and watched Bush ran the Country to the ground for 8 years, and said nothing. Now blaming President Obama for it all. Only cowards do that.
    What a bunch of losers. Voter id laws, scare tactics when it comes to religion, geez, do they have anything
    of consequence to run on?
    Few weeks ago Mitt was giving President Clinton high praises. Now that they realize their Convention was
    a total waste of time, and the Democrats were amazing each and everyday of their convention, they are going in a different direction with their attacks. President Clinton's skeletons are old news, people really do not care. He was an effective speaker Wednesday night and he was an AWESOME President. Reason, he is a BRILLIANT man.
    Something the Republican party is missing.
    Running on so much lies and fear mongering one wonders if these are the same people who claim to be christlike.
    They should also know better ( being so religious and all) 🙂 that God don't like ugly. I am not sure what God they serve, because the God I know is a just God. Shouldn't they know that, given their tract record on always bragging
    about religion?
    Wow! Cant wait for November. PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012.
    Toronto, Canada.

    September 7, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    Sign of desperation when the GOP/Tea Party tries unsuccessfully to cover up Ryan's lies and distortions. Ryan's lies reveal his lack of character, unfit to be one heart beat from the presidency. The country has forgiven President Clinton years ago. The GOP/Tea Party should get over it and move on. Just look at Clinton's popularity poll numbers.

    September 7, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. linda

    Pathetic......really....pathetic....shameful....I wonder if he professes to be a Christrian.....this party is really getting desperate......Shame on you could never be the man that Clinton is.......yes he made some stupid mistakes, but we all have......including give it up....why is losing so hard for you Republicans

    September 7, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. jennifer

    Nobody cares, what a sad man this Wilson is. Republicans are desparate.

    September 7, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. curiosity

    "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."

    Where did this California Republican get his education? Could vs can and saw vs seen are just a couple of things to consider.

    September 7, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. yem

    Pete Wilson, does he know any arithmetic? Why doesn't he show his Economic Plan for the country? He can only tell a dead story.. Boring!!

    September 7, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. edinc

    And the biggest lie ever was "weapons of mass destruction" and he looked at the camera and told the American people that he would send the men and women to war

    September 7, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. PJ

    "Can anybody vote for Joe Biden over Paul Ryen?"----------
    Yes, in a heartbeat. I will take integrity, honesty, and character every time.
    By the way, at least spell your guy's name right, you might not recognize it in the voting booth.

    September 7, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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