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. ivan bial

    Pete you and the republicans were layed naked by President Clinton.

    When you can't attack the facts attack the messanger.

    September 7, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. edinc

    Favorite qoute "We left him a mess, but he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in"

    September 7, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Hawk in texas

    Is every one in the republican party. stir crazy or just plain crazy.

    September 7, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. William

    The way that Pete Wilson governed California when he was governor is a scandal in it self. That old, senile man has no room to talk.

    September 7, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. enuff

    When you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything... including attacking someone for something they have done in the past. Where is the Christian forgiveness? Remember, Christ speaks of it often.

    September 7, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Squigman

    Here we go. The holier than thou faction, is alive and as sick as ever. It's fine to get involved in two wars, get a bunch of people killed, ruin the financial promise to a generation. But don't forget the sex scandals of those Godless democrats. There's a place in hell for people like this. Hopefully, they get their chance to get there soon.

    September 7, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. FLIndependent

    Heard a good one today from a Republican woman who asked why we don't reopen closed schools or improve roads & infrastructure...well, isn't that what President Obama's infrastructure bill would do? She went on to say that she doesn't like Obama and that he isn't a Bill Clinton and she's voting for Romney. Isn't that a hoot – she obviously liked Clinton who has endorsed Obama's path forward and told us Romney has the wrong course, yet because Obama isn't the same color?? as Clinton she's voting Romney. What is wrong with these people? Republicans were the same during Clinton's administration as they are today in that they can not stand a Dem President and will do anything to take them down...with Clinton all they could find was a stupid sex scandal which should have been kept between Bill & Hillary but they used it to take him down and it was a pathetic display of desperation by the Repubs.

    September 7, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Terry

    How do you define the phrase "A Nutcase"? Easy. Personhood Amendment. Only a completely brain dead person would propose something like that. Example: Todd Akins and Paul Ryan. No arguement here. Nutcases galore in politics and even the news these days. Clinton was a great president. Bush was a terrible president. Romney would make Bush look good. Didn't think it was possible.

    September 7, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. independent, in Texas

    Yall republicans can just give it up, people have made there minds up already for months now. From now to november is just the usual dog and poney show. Yell, holler, point fingers it just doesn't matter.

    September 7, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Displacedmic

    Oh for the love of Pete – what silliness....
    I'm not even a Democrat and this is just embarrassing.
    Clinton might be a pig, but he was a darn good president. If only the GOP could put up candidates half as "conservative" as Clinton was i'd be a life-long Republican...

    Also, Pete Wilson? Seriously? that guy is a hack... but i suppose if you really want someone who knows how to run a terrible presidential campaign, he's your guy.

    September 7, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Sorensen

    What a stupid remark from someone who does not have neither brains nor personality to carry Clintons briefcase.

    September 7, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. Hahahahahahahahah

    I wan't to see Willard's Tax Returns for the last 20 years!!!!!! I've already seen enough of Monica. Hahahahahahahaha

    September 7, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. v_mag

    There are a couple of missing items from the Repugnant presidential campaign this year. They are such large items, it is a wonder we don't hear any mention of them by the candidates, pundits, or surrogates. For the Elephant party, these are the elephants in the room:

    1. George W. Bush
    2. Romney's tax returns

    September 7, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. Joan G

    Republicans all boast to be the epidimy of rightiousness. However all the strip clubs in Tampa were gearing up because the average Republican spends $150 per person in these clubs where the Democrats spend $50. They can only talk about President Clinton's behavior, his presidency was spectacular. Rominey never ran for a second term in Massachuetts..he would have not won. He left Massachuetts almost as bad as Bush left us. Get smart people, Rominey and his rich friends will make everyone poor. Remember GOP stands for Greed over People.

    September 7, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. kirby

    LOL..! That's all you got Pete. Where is MItten's TAX RETURNS...!?!

    September 7, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. asm_ith

    If the Republicans think that Clinton was so bad, why do they bring him up in such positive ways in their ads and at their convention? They constantly talk about Reagan, and yet Reagan would be challenged by the Tea Party for having raised taxes numerous times. They refuse to even mention Iraq, Afghanistan, or the administration that started those wars or drove the economy into the ditch. There are legitimate issues to discuss, and legitimate differences between the partes. Bringing this up is gutter politics that serves no purpose other than to appeal to the prurient attitudes among those who come out. If they think this is the way to raise funds, Pete Wilson and the Republicans who like this are no better than when Rush Limbaugh wanted Sandra Fluke to post sex "videos online so we can all watch." There's plenty of free porn available without a need to contribute to the Republicans to get some.

    September 7, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Derek Randal

    The super conservative hero of GOP Newt Gringrich - was doing something more grave when he was leveling charges at President Clinton.

    September 7, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. ChristopherM

    So Clinton may have screwed some fool. Bush screwed the economy. Which do the American people care more about? I think you know the answer to that.

    September 7, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. tffl

    As usual, the Republicans are full of false equivalents. I think most Americans (if not the hard core Righties, who think ideology is more important than reality) would agree that Clinton's lies a long time ago about his sex life are far less important to the country than Ryan's (and pretty much all of the other Republicans') lies about the economy last week...

    September 7, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Joann

    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."
    Seriously? Did he really say "seen"? I stopped reading after that. An adult who has gotten as far as he has yet cannot speak his native language? Speaks volumes about the man.

    September 7, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Nelliby

    This must be a sign of desperation if the best they have is a 14-year-old scandal. Seriously.

    September 7, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. kaparrishinatl

    There is this fascination and theme with the GOP with SEX!!! It really is becoming CREEPY!! SEX, SEX, SEX. IS THIS ALL THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHO IS DOING WHOM!!

    September 7, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. Dennis

    Pete Wilson was an absolutely terrible Gov.for the state of Calif...As a career Marine Corps officer,he only achieved the rank of Captain in that amount of time.Talk about a loser.Got any winners,GOP?...Oh yeah,maybe that chair Clint Eastwood was talking to can be their next presidential candidate.It has more personality than Mitt Romney does.

    September 7, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Kana

    The GOP, those pushing for a religious based government might want to take the advise from their own teachings, "...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone,,,"
    None of our elected officials are sinless. Just remember you can pretty much "cherry pick" any quote from your religous books to fit any situation.
    In this years election neither candidate is really worthy of our vote. Unfortunately any third party candidate has no real chance of winning the vote.

    September 7, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. sbp

    Somehow, the fact that their god Ronald Reagan cheated on his first wife and dumped her for Nancy is not immoral. There's a GOP exception.

    September 7, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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