Video: Brown attacks … Clinton?

posted at 12:55 pm on September 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Meg Whitman has certainly started a war in her California gubernatorial campaign, but she’s not one of the combatants. Instead, by using video from the 1992 presidential campaign in which Bill Clinton attacked Jerry Brown’s record on taxes, Whitman has Brown attacking Clinton all over again. Here’s the Whitman ad, reminding California voters that Brown is not just a retread, but also less than honest about his record:

Time Magazine then posted this video of Brown’s reaction to the ad — where he attacks Clinton personally:

Mark Halperin calls the Whitman ad the best in this cycle anywhere:

The Whitman ad is probably the best TV spot by any campaign all cycle. Clinton and Brown have always had a rough relationship, which probably hit rock bottom in 1992, when, in the same debate from which the Whitman campaign lifted the Clinton video, Brown went after Hillary Clinton’s private sector employment in Arkansas, calling her dealings with the state a “major scandal.” Brown accused the former Arkansas governor of “funneling money to his wife’s law firm for state business.”

Under normal circumstances, Brown might have gotten some help from Clinton in this cycle, as Democrats would be rather desperate to blunt the momentum behind Whitman and try to rescue Barbara Boxer from losing her Senate election over it. Now, though, Brown appears to have burned that bridge — and it may be very costly, as Halperin notes:

Brown’s dissing of Bill Clinton is probably not going to sit too well with the many California voters with whom the former president is still majorly popular. And it surely makes the prospect that Clinton would campaign for Brown — not a sure thing before — even less likely.

And the outburst captured on the video is sure to reinforce the meme that Brown is a gaffe-prone hothead, since he has made more such mistakes than first-time candidate Whitman, a fact much noted by the media and of concern to some leading Democrats.

While it’s technically true that Brown never raised general-fund taxes, that only tells half the story. Brown opposed the landmark 1978 referendum, Proposition 13, which kept the state from rapidly escalating property values in order to soak homeowners for higher tax bills. After that passed, the state of California raised “fees” across the board, led by Brown and the Democrats. They also refused to consider indexing tax brackets to the high rate of inflation in the state during those years, which led to de facto tax increases as salaries rose but buying power declined. Since his two terms as Governor, Brown has supported tax increases, including during his stint in Oakland as mayor.

But that’s not the real takeaway from this ad and response. This demonstrates Brown’s airheaded approach to campaigning, his tendency to shoot off his mouth without thinking, and inability to think strategically. Even if Brown wasn’t an old retread from the 1970s, Californians should wonder why they would put their state in the hands of a candidate who can’t even get his opponents straight.


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LOL.. oh man. When democrats implode!

upinak on September 13, 2010 at 12:58 PM

love it….heh

cmsinaz on September 13, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Mark Halperin calls the Whitman ad the best in this cycle anywhere:

Pat Caddell said the same, on Friday.

This is good too.

Schadenfreude on September 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM

I predict Whitman will win by a mile. I just wish I could be more excited about it.

LASue on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

That was tactically brilliant by the Whitman team.

Vashta.Nerada on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Like sands through the hour glass, so too are the Dems of our lives….

Lily on September 13, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I love it when Dems throw rocks at each other.

tommer74 on September 13, 2010 at 1:06 PM

It’s fascinating how Brown cites the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times to support his position, as he’s flailing.

Dinosaurs stick together.

Asteroid hits Nov. 2.

Emperor Norton on September 13, 2010 at 1:08 PM

I believe the correct form is,

taxual relations.

Tzetzes on September 13, 2010 at 1:08 PM

LASue on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Me too. Arnold’s desertion of the Republican party so to speak has left me wary of Whitman. We need a governor who’s not afraid of our State Legislative branch.

FontanaConservative on September 13, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Heh! Whitman smacks Brown and Brown reflexively attacks Clinton….. She’s got to be chuckling after spawning a circular firing squad between a former president and governor.

this’ll be good for 3-4 days…

ted c on September 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Divide and conquer

Greek Fire on September 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM

MOONBEAM or RINO?

Again, I get to vote for the lesser of two evils…..UGH!

SDarchitect on September 13, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Who know Moonbeam wasn’t a strategic thinker?

/s

Looks like Whitman is, though. Hehe.

cs89 on September 13, 2010 at 1:15 PM

The Whitman ad was a stroke of genius.

amerpundit on September 13, 2010 at 1:16 PM

All of Brown’s campaign ads can be described in one word “VAGUE”.

Did you know Jerry has “a secret plan” to put Californians back to work?

GarandFan on September 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM

by using video from the 1992 presidential campaign in which Bill Clinton attacked Jerry Brown’s record on taxes

That ad is pure genius.

peski on September 13, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Me too. Arnold’s desertion of the Republican party so to speak has left me wary of Whitman. We need a governor who’s not afraid of our State Legislative branch.

FontanaConservative on September 13, 2010 at 1:10 PM

A governor here is only as good as its legislature. Unfortunately for everyone, the Dems have a stranglehold in the legislature. More unfortunate is that there are no moderate Democrats left. Everyone is batsh*t crazy.

Apologetic California on September 13, 2010 at 1:18 PM

“I’be been cheated, been mistreated. When will I be loved…”

Jerry still believes what Linda use to sing him to sleep with.

taterblade on September 13, 2010 at 1:18 PM

No one messes with Bubba in California and gets away with it. Brown is toast!

Apologetic California on September 13, 2010 at 1:22 PM

And the outburst captured on the video is sure to reinforce the meme that Brown is a gaffe-prone hotpothead.

FIFY

pain train on September 13, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Meg Whitman: Puppet master

VibrioCocci on September 13, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Will Whitman wield the veto pen effectively? Is there a state ‘rat majority to get around a governor veto?

Bishop on September 13, 2010 at 1:31 PM

whitman will win in Cali, but will have little impact on real change in the liberal controlled legislature. The crazies will have to eliminated for real change and, I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

pessimistic? oh yeah.

jbh45 on September 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Meg Whitman ad: A++++++++++++

Emperor Norton on September 13, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Uh, Jerry when someone says: “I did not have ***** with *****” they’re referencing a statement that was a lie. So what is it that you’re trying to say, exactly?

PackerBronco on September 13, 2010 at 1:37 PM

A bumper sticker on a vet’s old Pinto in the parking of NRMC Long Beach in 1982 always used to have me howling and it STILL holds true today, oddly enough:

If it’s BROWN, FLUSH it!

tree hugging sister on September 13, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Okay that response was simply the stupidest comeback ever!

First say: remember Clinton’s big lie?
Then insert your own big lie in place of his.

Isn’t that the same as saying you can’t believe me when I say: “I did not have taxes with this state!”

??????? Is that Freudian or what?

petunia on September 13, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Most in that room with moonbeam were not even alive when he was Governor and if they where they where kids. It is not the same old ideas tried over again it is the same old people doing the same old ideas over again and hoping for different results.

tjexcite on September 13, 2010 at 1:40 PM

What makes this ad so great is that no Brown response, by Brown, the highly involved public labor unions, or even third parties, has ANYTHING to do with Whitman.

Freddy on September 13, 2010 at 1:42 PM

We need to keep hitting these people with their own words. We need to nationally remove the Dems (and Castle) from as much power as possible, rinse and repeat.

Tim Burton on September 13, 2010 at 1:42 PM

This is good too.

Schadenfreude on September 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Loved it!

VibrioCocci on September 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM

whitman will win in Cali, but will have little impact on real change in the liberal controlled legislature. The crazies will have to eliminated for real change and, I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

pessimistic? oh yeah.

jbh45 on September 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Maybe we can hold Whitman down and make her watch some Chris Christie porn.

VibrioCocci on September 13, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Will Whitman wield the veto pen effectively? Is there a state ‘rat majority to get around a governor veto?

Bishop on September 13, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Yes. And she will also have chances to veto various individual sillyness bills, like the bi-lingual Hmong gambling counseling bill, that the legislature out here produces on a regular basis.

As for the budget, since the Democratic legislature wants to place NEW taxes in EVERY budget, they need a 2/3rds majority. This makes a veto is virtually useless except for some ‘discretionary’ line items.

Tax increases have happened so many times that the media incorrectly reports that there is a 2/3rd requirement to pass a budget. In fact, there is none!

Freddy on September 13, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Brown sounds diffused, scattered, and confused. What’s he been smokin’?

ExpressoBold on September 13, 2010 at 2:01 PM

By the time this is all over, I hope to beable to get a “Whitman Sampler” for my own entertainment!

HomeoftheBrave on September 13, 2010 at 2:07 PM

that would be: … be (space) able … :(

HomeoftheBrave on September 13, 2010 at 2:08 PM

That was tactically brilliant by the Whitman team.

Vashta.Nerada on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Yes, it was. And Brown fell right into the trap!

What a fool.

UltimateBob on September 13, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Me too. Arnold’s desertion of the Republican party so to speak has left me wary of Whitman. We need a governor who’s not afraid of our State Legislative branch.

FontanaConservative on September 13, 2010 at 1:10 PM

..great! The vote for Jerry Brown and enjoy the results. Guaranteed if you liked Obama, you’ll love this doddering old lib.

The War Planner on September 13, 2010 at 2:24 PM

I still like the Brown ad where he runs as a Republican. He wants people to believe he stands for:

1. Fisal responsibility.
2. Returning control to local government.
3. No tax increases without voter approval.

After the Republican primaries, I was really dreading the campaign season… but the ads are much more amusing than I was anticipating.

malclave on September 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

A bumper sticker on a vet’s old Pinto in the parking of NRMC Long Beach in 1982 always used to have me howling and it STILL holds true today, oddly enough:

If it’s BROWN, FLUSH it!

tree hugging sister on September 13, 2010 at 1:39 PM

hee hee….

Years ago when I was visiting the Caribbean, the islanders were trying to encourage visitors to conserve water. One of the suggestions was to flush the toilet less frequently.

They used to tell us, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

UltimateBob on September 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Great ad.

albill on September 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

That was tactically brilliant by the Whitman team.

Vashta.Nerada on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Yes it is.

Getting Democrats to attack each other. Classic.

whitman will win in Cali, but will have little impact on real change in the liberal controlled legislature. The crazies will have to eliminated for real change and, I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

pessimistic? oh yeah.

jbh45 on September 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I agree. But to do that, you’d have to convince the California Republican Party to focus on the legislature rather than on the govenorship.

You also need TEA party rage against the California legislature. I don’t see that. Everyone is too focus on the national legislature.

Conservative Samizdat on September 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

They used to tell us, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.“

UltimateBob on September 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

That was in fact a Jerry Brown statement from the drought days of the 70s, the only good thing to come from that were empty swimming pools for us to skateboard in, which BTW created an entire new industry that employs 1000s of people to this day. I was there as a teen and God help us if he get’s back in,

Bobnormal on September 13, 2010 at 3:03 PM

By far the funniest thing to happen so far this election year.

That ad was a stroke of sheer genius.

ButterflyDragon on September 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM

I think the phrase is:
If it’s BROWN, flush it DOWN!

CA_Conservative on September 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Not sure if you’ve seen this but I put an LA Times update to this at the end of my post here. Brown is now apologizing for using Monica Lewinsky in responding to the Meg Whitman ad.

Blue Collar Todd on September 13, 2010 at 11:51 PM