Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown calls Hillary Clinton ‘only path’ to stop Trump

California Gov. Jerry Brown, who feuded bitterly with Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, on Tuesday endorsed Hillary Clinton, calling her nomination the “only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump.”

In an “open letter to California Democrats and independents,” Brown likened his insurgent presidential campaign in 1992 to that of Bernie Sanders, saying he is “deeply impressed” with the Vermont senator.

But Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, said Clinton “has convincingly made the case that she knows how to get things done and has the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda.”

He said her lead is insurmountable and that Democratic voters, both in pledged delegates and in the popular vote, have demonstrated they prefer her.

“But there is more at stake than mere numbers,” Brown wrote. “The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has called climate change a ‘hoax’ and said he will tear up the Paris Climate Agreement. He has promised to deport millions of immigrants and ominously suggested that other countries may need the nuclear bomb. He has also pledged to pack the Supreme Court with only those who please the extreme right.”

Brown’s endorsement carries more than symbolic weight. He is a superdelegate who previously declined to endorse in the race.

Brown maintained a sometimes-frayed relationship with Bill Clinton for much of the 1990s, accusing him of stooping to corporate interests and, during a 1992 presidential debate, of funneling public money to Hillary Clinton’s law firm. But Bill Clinton campaigned for Brown in his 2010 run for governor, and the two men met last week in Sacramento. The meeting came days after Brown appeared to scold Sanders, saying nobody “should be seeking the Democratic nomination with a scorched earth policy.”

In his letter Tuesday, Brown reiterated his longstanding concerns about climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons, saying “a new cold war is on the horizon.”

“This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other,” Brown wrote. “The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.”

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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