Gov. Brown warns of tough 2012 fight
August 7th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Gov. Brown warns of tough 2012 fight

(CNN) - California Gov. Jerry Brown said the United States is at a crossroads and faces a potentially “calamitous” election in 2012.

As demonstrated by the recent debate in Washington over the debt ceiling, the United States will decline if Democrats and Republicans are unable to compromise, Brown said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I think the only way out of this is going to be a vigorous election, where people lay out the stark alternatives, not muffle it like politicians like to do,” the Democratic governor said.

Although Brown said the country needs a “very clear, decisive election,” both sides of the political aisle are preparing for a tough fight.

“I would say that the Republicans are gearing up to destroy the president, that the president will have to respond in a very powerful way, and the result for the country could be calamitous,” Brown told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Brown, who was elected in 2010 to his second stint as governor, said unyielding ideology like the no-tax stance of many Republicans means compromise is “no longer a viable concept.” That leaves it to the president to provide his plan for the country and run the risk of rejection from the American people, he said.

“Society’s in the mood where it wants a lot of things, but it’s not willing to pay for them,” Brown said.

The former state attorney general and mayor of Oakland recently passed a budget to address a $28 billion budget shortfall in the Golden State. The plan contained severe cuts to education and social programs as well as higher education fees. Brown said the extreme cuts were the result of partisan divides within the state’s government.

“We are not going to borrow, we’re not going to obfuscate. We’re going to put our books in order,” Brown said. “But it’s going to be very painful.”

With a state unemployment rate slightly under 12 percent, Brown said he’s focusing state resources on renewable energy, high-speed rail and water projects that he thinks will create jobs.

“There is no magic bullet other than stimulus, and stimulus has been stigmatized by the Republican leadership,” Brown said. “And they want America to go through this.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • California • Debt • Deficit • Jerry Brown • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. RLA

    COMPROMISE– Must be the new democratic catch word (after racist, tea party extreme), What we need is people who can define the problem (believe me there can't be two) and it is obvious. Then we need leaders who can make decisions without a commission!

    August 7, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Governor Brown is right about the toxic political discourse in this country. Just look at California with its dysfunctional political government. The two thirds requirement to pass the budget and any revenue bills allows a just say NO GOP/Tea Party minority to block any compromise. Although the GOP/Tea Party is becoming more irrelevant in California, they continue to hold this state hostage by refusing to compromise even when they can exact some compromises out of Democrats. With district redistricting coming up, hopefully Democrats can achieve the required two thrids majority in both houses of the Legislature.

    August 7, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Jose

    Brown has a history of fighting against what Californians have wanted to pass like Prop. 13 his first stint as Gov. This Gov. seemed to have no problem with his staff calling a women a bad name during his recent election( won't say the name here).
    Brown's solution as most Democrats is to try to spend more money? The problem with the Democrats is they want to give the world but not pay for it with balanced budgets? If Americans citizens have to live in their budgets why can't our government?

    August 7, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. OK

    A lot of room Brown has to talk, he needs to be tared, feathered and run out of town–er, state on a pole. He's gon'a ruin California. Cross that out, he has ruined California!!! Glad I could move out; I feel sorry for those who can't except the idots who voted him in; they are a bunch of cokeheads, maybe that's what we need, a state just for cokeheads just to see how they fair. I can see it now: crumbling buildings and houses, pothole steets and roads, shut down bussinesses, schools and hospitals, dried up farms and a whole decayed state.

    August 7, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE – The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    “Society’s in the mood where it wants a lot of things, but it’s not willing to pay for them,” Brown said.
    Correct. The Democrats want to just keep giving people more and more and forcing OTHER people to pay for it with higher and higher taxes. The trend over the last 50 years is unmistakeable. The Democrats class warfare through the tax system has set up what might be a disastrous confrontation in this country between the makers and the takers of society.

    August 7, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Aaron

    He's right on all counts. As polarized as the American public is, the politicians can only be polarized also. But, there seems to have been a plan initiated by the politicians in the early 90s (starting with Newt Gingrich) to ensure that polarization so that they could further their own agenda. The result will likely be the downgrading of the U.S. to a third world country, which some of our "leaders" obviously want anyway judging by their actions.

    August 7, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. D

    This from the guy that just singed into law in-state tuition for illegal aliens in California. He whines about the debt problem and then contributes to it's growth.

    August 7, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Liz the First

    Let's make one thing perfectly clear, it's not 'Democrats AND republicans' who need to compromise. Dems are bending over backwards to keep this country from falling apart and repubs are standing with arms linked in staunch opposition to anything and everything we are trying to do to clean up their mess. the repubs' idea of compromise is do it our way or we won't let you do it at all! this is not governing, it's ruling by decree and intimidation. is this what our Founding Fathers had in mind? the Amreican people have to get smart enough to stop electing people to governent who hate government. as the past few weeks proved so painfully, it's totally counterprodictve! would you put a KKK grand wizard in charge of the NAACP and expect anything good to come of it?

    August 7, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. luvsthe blues

    Since Boehner has stated that he got 98% of what he wanted, it's quite evident who compromised and who didn't.

    August 7, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. OK

    He must have been looking in a mirror when he said: "Society's in the mood where it wants a lot of things, but not willing to pay for them" He must have meant: his Government, and his supporters, [ie, Hollywood celebs and their ilk] and society is not willing to pay for it.

    August 7, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |