Whitman Uses Popular Democrat to Criticize Brown

Thursday, Sep 9, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Whitman Uses Popular Democrat to Criticize Brown

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Bill Clinton's powers of persuasion are legendary.

Former president Bill Clinton is the unwitting star of a new TV ad in the California governor's race in which he is shown criticizing the record of fellow Democrat Jerry Brown.
     
The ad released Thursday by Republican candidate Meg Whitman uses the former president for the entire :30 spot.

It is footage from a 1992 Democratic presidential primary debate in which Clinton and Brown squared off.

Clinton calls Brown's assertion about his tax record "just plain wrong" and says he took credit for voters approving Proposition 13, which cut property taxes. He also said Brown rang up a deficit as governor from 1975 to 1983 and "doesn't tell people the truth."

"He raised taxes as governor of California," Clinton says in the ad. "He had a surplus when he took office and a deficit when he left."

Clinton made the unusual step of endorsing Brown's primary opponent, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, last October before Newsom dropped out.  Clinton has been silent on the California race since then.
     
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford called Whitman's ad a "nasty and cynical attack" that distorted his record.

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