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Clinton praises Newsom's environmental policies, endorses him for governor

Former president Bill Clinton publicly endorses Gavin Newsom for governor at the energy-efficient library at Los Angeles CIty College.
Former president Bill Clinton publicly endorses Gavin Newsom for governor at the energy-efficient library at Los Angeles CIty College.
Gavin Newsom Campaign

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San Francisco mayor and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom received some help from one of the biggest names in Democratic Party politics Monday. Former President Bill Clinton publicly endorsed Newsom during a joint appearance at Los Angeles City College.

Frank Stoltze: Inside a new energy-efficient library, Clinton praised Newsom’s environmental policies. He referred to San Francisco’s recycling programs and its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bill Clinton:That’s why I’m here today, because Gavin Newsom has walked the walk. He just doesn’t talk about it. And I’m glad he wants to do it on a larger scale. Mayor Newsom. (applause)

Stoltze: Newsom stood next to the president beaming.

Gavin Newsom: Mr. President, from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for instilling this faith in this effort.

Stoltze: Newsom trails the better-known Jerry Brown in opinion surveys about their race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Newsom’s strategist Garry South says Clinton’s backing will help his candidate raise desperately needed cash.

The former president, who would not take reporters’ questions, headlined a fundraiser for Newsom last night at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A.

Garry South: He gives you inherent standing and credibility with Democratic voters who know Brown a lot better than they know Gavin Newsom because remember, Jerry Brown has been on the statewide ballot here 13 times.

Stoltze: Brown already was governor in the late 1970s and early '80s. He’s state attorney general now. Randy, a computer science student who declined to give his last name, is not from the generation who remembers Brown’s record.

Stoltze: There’s this guy named Jerry Brown running for governor. Have you ever heard of Jerry Brown?
Randy: No never. Never.
Stoltze: He was governor of California.Randy: No. Sorry. I know. I’m kinda embarrassed.

Stoltze: Then again, 22-year-old Randy, a registered Democrat, said he doesn’t know who Gavin Newsom is, either.