The message from California’s gubernatorial race today is letting bygones be bygones.
Bill Clinton is endorsing Jerry Brown for governor, after the latter questioned his truthfulness and even broached the subject of Monica Lewinsky in a Sunday campaign stop. It was a high profile gaffe for Brown, who apologized on Monday and called his 1992 primary rival an “excellent president.”
“I strongly support Jerry Brown for governor because I believe he was a fine mayor of Oakland, he’s been a very good attorney general, and he would be an excellent governor at a time when California needs his creativity and fiscal prudence,” Clinton said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times.
What’s more, Clinton disavowed what led to Brown’s criticism in the first place: A Meg Whitman ad featuring Clinton and Brown in a 1992 debate, in which Clinton accuses Brown of raising taxes as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983, and of being against Prop 13 before he was for it.
In his statement on Tuesday, Clinton said that his claim back then was based on an erroneous report.
“Moreover, the tough campaign we fought 18 years ago is not relevant to the choice facing Californians today,” Clinton said. “Jerry and I put that behind us a long time ago.”
Clinton also said that he endorsed Gavin Newsom, in the gubernatorial race up until last October, because of the San Francisco mayor’s support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Still to be determined is whether Clinton will campaign for Brown, as had been rumored up to Sunday’s flap.
Brown’s campaign, meanwhile, unveiled a new response ad aimed at refuting Whitman’s claims. They’ve been urging her to pull the spot, but so far her campaign has refused.
The theme of the spot: “Whitman’s nose keeps growing by the millions.” Unusual, but at least they’re not talking about her hair.
Brown issued this statement in response: “I am deeply honored to have been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, who, after his accomplishment-rich presidency, continues to demonstrate his commitment to bettering our state, our nation, and our world, each and every day.”