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Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton Share the Stage

SANY0056 The rally was to elect Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom, but there was little doubt as to who was the draw at UCLA on Friday evening: former President Bill Clinton.

He not only spoke last and longest, he also spent the most time working the rope line, to crushing crowds of students.

Many of the thousands who gathered at a campus park were too young to even remember when Clinton was first elected, but he offered an appeal that cited his own accomplishments as well as Obama’s ability to stabilize the economy. And while Clinton did offer a testimonial for voting for Brown and Newsom, much of his remarks were devoted to boosting Democrats in general.

“It is not enough to have voted for President Obama if you will not help him govern and stick behind the members of Congress who stood with him,” said Clinton, noting that if young voters turned out in the same numbers that they did in 2008, Democrats would be in much better shape.

Focusing on the federal debt, a primary talking point at Tea Party rallies, Clinton said that the “country would have been out of debt for the first time since 1832 by 2015” but that Republicans gained control of the White House and Congress and abolished pay-as-you-go rules, launched two wars and started a prescription drug benefit, as well as tax cuts that benefited the upper income strata.

“To hear the Republicans talk about it is all President Obama’s and Congress’ fault,” Clinton said.

“The crash didn’t happen because there was too much government,” he said. “The crash happened because there was too little oversight, too much risk and nobody was there.”

“The last thing you want to do is bring in the shovel brigade and bring us off from where we are. We need to keep going forward, not backward,” he said.

Brown and Clinton are former rivals, but there was no sign of animosity. Clinton praised Brown’s early support of green energy initiatives during his first tenure as governor.

“He was the first governor in America to have green building standards, green appliance standards,” Clinton said. “He knew it was good economics when most people thought it was a fool’s errand.”

Alternately folksy in tone and effortlessly citing facts and figures, Clinton also was in sync with Brown in criticizing Whitman’s proposal to cut the state capital gains tax.

“Even if you think it is a good idea to repeal the capital gains tax, why in god’s name would ou do it now when you can’t pay the education costs that you have? Why would you do it?”

 

 

 

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