Gov. Brown Backs Clinton in California Primary

Gov. Brown Backs Clinton in California Primary
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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California Gov. Jerry Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton a week before a much-watched Democratic primary in his state on June 7.

With about six in 10 Californians approving of the governor’s job performance, Clinton’s campaign believes Brown’s backing amid the neck-and-neck primary battle can carry weight.

Bernie Sanders is campaigning hard in the state but Clinton is up by eight percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average. Needing fewer than 100 delegates to clinch the nomination, the former secretary of state is widely expected to cross that threshold in next week’s contests. (Five other states also hold Democratic primaries that day.)

Brown praised Sanders, saying he is “deeply impressed” with the Vermont senator’s performance in the Democratic race.

Brown’s endorsement is notable given his nearly 25-year feud with the Clinton family.

It dates back to the 1992 Democratic primary when Brown challenged Bill Clinton for the nomination. He excoriated both Clintons over character issues and controversies that took place while Bill Clinton served as governor of Arkansas.

But on Tuesday Brown called for party unity and declared the former first lady’s delegate lead “insurmountable.” He said the stakes against Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump “could not be higher.” He listed Trump positions on climate change, immigration, nuclear proliferation, and potential Supreme Court nominations as “dangerous.”

In an “open letter” to Democrats and independents in a state where 475 pledged delegates are up for grabs, Brown said the former New York senator has “convincingly made the case that she knows how to get things done and has the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda.”

The general election contest against Trump has already begun, Brown said. “This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other.”

Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com.  Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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