California’s governor Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he is backing Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the state’s primary on June 7, calling her delegate lead “insurmountable” and adding, “This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other.”
Brown wrote, “The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.”
He did praise Sanders as someone he identified with — Brown ran against Bill Clinton in 1992 and waged a campaign that focused heavily on the corruptive influence of money in politics and income inequality.
Sanders “has driven home the message that the top one percent has unfairly captured way too much of America’s wealth, leaving the majority of people far behind. In 1992, I attempted a similar campaign.”
He slammed presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, and said that Clinton was “the only path forward to win the presidency” and stop his “dangerous candidacy.”
Brown’s endorsement may not have a huge impact on the way people vote, as there is a certain degree of skepticism among political analysts at the influence of endorsements at this stage of a presidential race. But it still will be a boost to Clinton’s campaign, as Brown laid out just how unlikely it is that Sanders could capture the nomination.
The bitterness between Clinton and Sanders supporters does have some parallels to the 1992 race. Brown, who waged an insurgent campaign in which he would not collect contributions about $100, hammered Bill Clinton at debates, at one point accusing him of funneling Arkansas state business to his wife’s law firm. Clinton defeated Brown in the California primary, passing the threshold for securing the nomination, but Brown didn’t drop out until the convention that July.
Despite the acrimony from that year, Bill Clinton campaigned for Brown when he ran for governor in 2010.