September 13th, 2010
06:29 PM ET
10 years ago

Brown apologizes for Clinton joke

Jerry Brown apologized for a joke he made about President Clinton Sunday.

Jerry Brown apologized for a joke he made about President Clinton Sunday.

(CNN) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown apologized Monday for comments he made over the weekend about former President Bill Clinton.

"Bill Clinton was an excellent president. It was wrong for me to joke about an incident from many years ago, and I'm sorry," Brown said in a statement.

Brown's comments were in reaction to a television ad released by his Republican opponent Meg Whitman's campaign, which shows an interview with Clinton – then a presidential candidate running against Brown for the party's nomination – during which he accuses Brown of raising taxes in California when he was governor in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

At a Democratic Party event on Sunday, Brown made a not-so-subtle reference to Clinton's involvement in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"Meg Whitman, she stops at nothing," Brown told a crowd of supporters at a Democratic Party event in California.

"She's even got Bill Clinton lying about me. That's right. Did you see that, where he said I raised taxes? It's a lie. I mean Clinton's a nice guy, but whoever said he always told the truth?"

Clinton was basing his comment on a CNN report at the time. However, the former CNN correspondent who reported the story, Brooks Jackson, said Saturday in a post on that his 1992 report was inaccurate. Taxes did not in fact go up while Brown was governor.

Brown also lambasted Whitman for continuing to run the ad despite its inaccuracies.

"I've made my share of mistakes, and my inappropriate joke about President Clinton is one of them. But from me you'll always get the truth."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: Bill Clinton • California • Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Yes, cherish the days when Democrats had had excellent presidents.....

    September 13, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. bennie new york

    I had no problem with this comment. The Dems really need to stop treating Clinton like a sacred cow. NAFTA and the deregulation of Wall Street both came under Clinton, and both moves have screwed us over royally.

    September 13, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Rachel

    Too late Mr Brown you handed Meg a victory by beign petty. Don't even ask the Big Dawg to help you out. All you had to say was that the report Bill used was wrong, but no you wanted to be funny. The joke will be on you.

    September 13, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. Deb03

    Clinton was not an excellant president. He was impeached for gods sake. He lied!!! Just like Obama is doing now. I can't wait for him to impeach too! Not soon enough though!

    September 13, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. D0 Not Reply 2 this.

    Yeah, and the American public are TIRED of all the mud slinging this year! Why do you all not just state WHAT you would LIKE to see accomplished instead of pointing out others so-called BAD faults and idiosyncrasies!? We'll just see who goes down when they slander others! This crap HAS GOT TO STOP NOW! We'll be watching [and listening] so – watch your step(s) incumbents and newbies!!!

    September 13, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. AndyBlue

    These Republicans have absolutely no shame. All they do is bully, instigate, Lie and push fear.

    September 13, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Joanne

    Jerry Brown, shame on you.

    September 13, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. jim

    Jerry Brown is a very sick individual.You drink too much kool-aid it starts affecting your mind and reasoning abilities.

    September 13, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. normajean

    Considering the garbage that is being thrown around by the Repubs , I think this would be a good time for someone to call these people publicly on their lies. If this ad used by Whitman was a lie then Clinton should come out and say so. As for meg Whitman, if you vote for her to govern California you will get just what you pay for, someone who is totally unqualified to govern, someone who spent well over a million dollars to buy the office, someone who didn't bother to vote for 28 years. Is this what you want for California? Think of all the Californians she could have helped with that money. and now win or lose, it's all in the hands of people who don't give a damn about California.People, this is a loser!!!!!!

    September 13, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. Cindy

    This is the difference between Brown and Whitman's campaign. Brown will apologize, Whitman's will just think they were being clever.

    It's disengenuous, and unbecoming of a governatorial candidate. California deserves better than that. Or does California value truth and integrity anymore? I guess we'll find out in November.

    September 13, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Boehn-headed move

    Brown's actually correct, but folks like Bill

    September 13, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Cindy Merrill

    At least "slick willie" had the sense to pick good economic advisers- even during the height of the scandals/impeachment, hearings, somehow, Clinton was able to talk to, not at, Republicans in office, which is one more reason why he remained in office.
    Obama's administration thinks negotiations like this are beneath them. They just handed over all power to Reid and Pelosi, thus giving them far too much power over legislation.
    For this reason alone, that is more than enough reason to vote for Republicans in November.

    September 13, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Janice Hough

    Why apologize. Clinton was a good president, but Brown was right.

    September 13, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. wendy

    Way to go Jerry idiot. President Clinton has accomplished 100 times over what you could ever hope to. With friends like you, who needs enemies.

    September 13, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. scott

    Why should brown apoligize, truth is that President Clinton lied about the affair and mistakenly the tax issue and Whitman continues to spread a lie about Brown raising taxes, despite knowing it's not true.
    Brown is the most honorable one here.

    September 13, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Fed Up

    Clinton was a liar. No joke there. That's politics as usual. No apology necessary.

    September 13, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. barry

    It's time for Brown to go. He should pick out his Assisted Living home of choice and check in. He and the California public would benefit from this. He iS a dinosaur whose time has come to an end.

    September 13, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Wrongs

    No, Clinton WASN'T a "good president!!" He disgraced the office and is a disgrace!! I can't believe he and his nasty wife can still show their faces. It just goes to show what a LACK OF BREEDING that they suffer from!!!!!

    September 13, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. T'SAH from Virginia

    Too Late!!! Politicians should THINK before they SPEAK!!

    Oh wait a minute – if they THINK, we would be in a much better state than what we're in now!!!

    President Clinton is a better person and will forgive him!!

    DEMOCRATS – STATE the CASE – UNITE the BASE and WIN this RACE in November!!!

    September 13, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. JIM

    Whats wrong with that ? We all know it was true, so whats the big deal!

    September 13, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. meemawfromthesouth

    IBD! Jerry Brown actually said "I'm sorry". Most pols worm their way around that word and it is actually refreshing to see one that will voice it. The most you will get from others that even make a half-hearted attempt will be, "I apologize", which doesn't mean diddly!

    September 13, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |