Jerry Brown & Hillary Clinton: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at the Computer History Museum. (Getty)

California governor Jerry Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president ahead of the state’s primary on June 7.

This is a crucial endorsement for Clinton, as Bernie Sanders has been narrowing the gap between himself and Clinton over the past few weeks. A Fox News poll found that Clinton was only two points ahead of Sanders in California, although the majority of polls give her a larger lead.

Brown has been hinting at a Hillary Clinton endorsement for weeks, but the news still may be surprising to those who have followed the California governor’s relationship with the Clintons. It has been contentious to say the least, especially since Brown once was to Bill Clinton as Bernie Sanders now is to Hillary Clinton.

Here’s what you need to know about Jerry Brown and Hillary Clinton.

1. Jerry Brown Ran Against Bill Clinton in 1992

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Jerry Brown discusses climate change at the Milken Institute Global Conference. (Getty)

Although Brown is throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton at the moment, that isn’t to say he’s always been on the side of Hillary and Bill. In fact, in the past he has directly opposed them in a pretty vicious race.

In 1992, Jerry Brown ran against Bill Clinton to secure the democratic nomination for president. He wasn’t considered to be much of a threat at first, especially after his poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, but after Super Tuesday, the narrative began to shift. He slowly began to sneak up on Clinton, earning a second-place victory in the Michigan primary and then a first-place win in Connecticut.

In the end, Brown wound up winning seven primaries total despite the fact that his campaign was extremely underfunded. Ultimately, Bill Clinton went on to secure the nomination, but Brown ended up with the votes of 596 delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Brown never did endorse Bill Clinton.

2. His 1992 Campaign Was Reminiscent of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Campaign

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Jerry Brown speaks at the Center for American Progress. (Getty)

Brown’s 1992 campaign will actually sound quite familiar to those who have been following the Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016. For one, Brown was dismissed from the beginning as having little to no chance against Clinton, but he was able to build up momentum and slowly begin winning states as the primary went on.

There was also the fact that one of Brown’s key issues was campaign finance reform, and he consistently spoke out against large campaign contributors. In fact, he said that he would only accept donations from individuals, and he would not accept any amount larger than $100. Today, Bernie Sanders has been focusing on similar issues, touting the statistic that his average donation is $27.

Brown himself made note of this parallel during his statement endorsing Clinton. He writes, “I have closely watched the primaries and am deeply impressed with how well Bernie Sanders has done. He 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.”

3. He Was the First Politician to Raise Whitewater as an Issue

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Jerry Brown speaks at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. (Getty)

One of the many controversies the Clintons have been attacked for is Whitewater, a scandal that involved an investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s real-estate investments. Expect to hear a lot more of it this year, as according to Politico, Donald Trump plans to raise the issue in the general election. But one of the first politicians to seriously go after the Clintons for Whitewater was not a republican; it was none other than Jerry Brown.

In 1992, a series of New York Times articles alleged that Bill Clinton used his power as governor of Arkansas to land a $300,000 loan to the Clinton’s real-estate partner, Susan McDougal. The controversy didn’t gain much traction when it first broke, but immediately after the article came out, Brown called on Bill Clinton to “release all papers pertaining to his ties to the failed Madison Guaranty,” according to The Seattle Times.

Brown also brought up Whitewater during a presidential debate shortly after the New York Times published their story. In a truly vicious exchange between the two democratic opponents, Brown accused Clinton of “funneling money to his wife’s law firm for state business,” an accusation Clinton immediately dismissed. The Seattle Times notes that the press did not pick up on this at the time largely because Brown was seen as being a fringe candidate with not much credibility.

4. He Says Hillary Clinton Is the Only Candidate Who Can Beat Trump

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Jerry Brown speaks at the Water, Energy and Smart Technology Summit.

In his statement, Brown does not necessarily delve into reasons Hillary Clinton should be elected president, although he does briefly mention her experience as secretary of state. Mostly, though, Brown discusses why Donald Trump should not be elected president and explains that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who can defeat him.

First, Brown runs through the numbers, outlining that Hillary Clinton has about three million more votes than Bernie Sanders and that if she were to win just 10 percent of the remaining delegates, she would still have enough to secure the nomination. “In other words, Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee,” he writes.

He goes on to call Trump’s candidacy “dangerous,” pointing to his positions on immigration and climate change in particular. He writes, “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.”

5. He Has Warmed up on the Clintons in Recent Years

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Bill Clinton campaigns for Jerry Brown during Brown’s race for California governor.

Years after that contentious primary season, the relationship between Jerry Brown and the Clintons is no longer as strained. During Brown’s race for governor of California, in fact, he earned the endorsement of his former rival, Bill Clinton.

“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 at the time.

This endorsement came days after Brown mocked Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He immediately apologized for the remark.

Brown also had a meeting with Bill Clinton just last week at the governor’s mansion, according to The Los Angeles Times. Even before this official endorsement, Brown had been hinting that he would come over to Hillary Clinton’s camp, warning against a “scorched Earth” democratic campaign and emphasizing how important it is to defeat Donald Trump.

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