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. Rosslaw

    Best economy in history, winning a war in the former Yugoslavia in 70+ days without losijng a single American, reformed welfare and this right wing pigmy who couldn't get elected dog catcher now in California thinks he's witty. Yessiree, the repubs sure can teach us all a thing or two about credibility.

    September 7, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Bessy

    Time to forget about this. Clinton hurt no one but himself and his family. That was up to him and Hillary to take care of, BETWEEN THEM, and not all the hypocrits in the country. However she chose to handle it is okay by me. Their problem, and they obviously solved it by the look on her face when she watched the replay of his speech. Get off the bandwagon all of you " righteous " nuts.

    September 7, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Louise Johnson

    They are acraping the bottom of the barrel here, probably because their barrel is empty.

    September 7, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. adam

    Looks like Clinton's speech hurt them a lot to go back 20 years in time intentionally skipping the infamous Bush era

    September 7, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Mack

    You could fit the accomplishments of Wilson into Clinton's waggling finger. If this is all you've got, Pete, time to hang it up. How pathetic and lame.

    September 7, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |

    Yes, Clinton lied (I don't know why politicians don't admit their errors IMMEDIATELY because the people forget/forgive immediately!)

    However, on the points he brought up, anyone can review them themselves .. here's one to look up, see if it's true. Does Ryan's Medicare plan (supported by Romney) include a Voucher given to seniors to then shop for insurance? The truth is YES! Medicare will be abolished. Any chance insurance companies will take any old people on that have, say, a pre-existing condition?

    September 7, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. sugar

    Wow. They have months to go yet, if this is the lengths to which they reach now I imagine Hillary's hair style from fifteen years ago will be the topic by November.

    September 7, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Pete Wilson was one of California's worst Governors. Who listens to that clown? Clinton's sex life is the best he can come up with to attack Obama? Haha.

    September 7, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. paul

    Dear Mr. sad, and how desperate are you?.....It's a campaign for an Election...not an Erection....OK? shut up and say how the Republicans will screw the ever living daylights out of the middle class and the Seniors as far as Medicare goes....and get your head out of the Republican GUTTER......

    September 7, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. KM

    It's pathetic that the Republicans bring up the Clinton sex scandal. Is this REALLY what they think is important?? They haven't done anything since being voted into majority in 2010 and now this is their major topic for discussion. Where are the jobs and where is Romney's tax return?? How about those for issues??

    September 7, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. don

    Rich white Republicans like recessions because workers are cheaper and bonds are stronger and cash on hand gains value. All that chum they throw to their toady little wedge-issue hate groups via the Rove machine is to secure that end. That's it!

    September 7, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. sonny chapman

    Nobody can hate like a Repub. They're the champs !

    September 7, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. RustyHinges8

    I guess if you're Pete Wilson, and looking for something intelligent to's just easier to talk TRASH.

    September 7, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. laughingstock

    I find it hilarious that the GOP has endorsed, praised, and USED Clinton so much while trying to bring down Obama, and now they are trying to resurrect a 15 year old scandal to vilify him and negate the legitimacy that they themselves empowered him with during this campaign.

    September 7, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Mike

    Uhmmm What the HELL does a Sex Scandel Have to do with a SURPLUS CLINTON CREATED AND THE GOP USED UP!!!!!!

    September 7, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Charles Favreau

    "When I was a child...(1 Corinthians 13:11)" Hey, Republicans, you're dipping into a dry well. That Clinton is gone. You wrung it all out of him, humiliated him for doing what many have done (except of course GOP politicos), and got legislation passed that would have never happened if he hadn't a child.

    September 7, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. judy

    Have the republicans forgot their indiscretions also? Shame on them, all they do is make themselves look really bad and desperate. All their talk of religion and what do they do? They are judging people.

    September 7, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. don

    Calling Mark Twain!

    "A lie can be halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes"

    "A lie told by Paul Ryan can be across the finish line at 2:55 while the truth trudges across at 4:06"

    September 7, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Pete Wilson was one of California's Worsts Governors. Who listens to that clown? Clinton's sex life has what to do with the election? I have news for the misogynistic ex-leader of California, Clinton's sex life wasn't Obama's fault. Heck, it wasn't even Bush, Jr.'s fault!

    September 7, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Sueb

    The republicans are reaching. Clinton was brilliant! I know the GOP has no use for factcheckers; but, they ALL said Clinton was right on his facts at the convention....and that's an inconvenient truth for the republicans.

    September 7, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. gt

    its the economy....not clintons speech or his philandering....

    September 7, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. The Other Dale

    This is a really stupid avenue to go down for the Republicans. How many of us have made jokes about "no one died when Clinton lied" in the past few years? And how that all happened due to a witchhunt about something else entirely that turned out to be a very expensive wild goosechase for the taxpayers. All it's bringing up is what a great run a Democrat had in office over 8 years – even with his problems – over the Republican after him.

    September 7, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. clubschadenfreude

    oh, i Love to watch people throw stones when they live in glass houses. And speaking of throwing stones, wasn't there something that JEsus said about that? đŸ™‚

    September 7, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    When Pete Wilson, worst governor of California is recent history is speaking for Willard the Rat, you know it's a desperate situation for RMoney/Lyin'

    September 7, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. RealityBites

    "reminded at least one Republican"?
    How do you forget about a President of the US pointing his finger in your face while telling a story that EVERYONE(but Hillary) knows is a lie?

    What's more reviealing is that CNN's self-proclaimed Fact Check only did one meaningless fact check on a known liar.

    September 7, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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