Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown: ‘I say Trump lies … I say Trump is a fraud’

California Governor Jerry Brown addresses the DNC

To chants of "Jerry, Jerry," Gov. Brown speaks in Philadelphia on day 3 of the Democratic National Convention.
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To chants of "Jerry, Jerry," Gov. Brown speaks in Philadelphia on day 3 of the Democratic National Convention.

Gov. Jerry Brown, casting Donald Trump as a liar and a fraud, urged Americans on Wednesday to reject his candidacy as “dangerously wrong” about climate change.

The fourth-term Democrat, speaking at a Democratic National Convention for the first time in 24 years, accused the Republican Party of ignoring what he called “the existential threat of our time.”

“Trump says global warming is a ‘hoax,’ ” Brown said to cheers. “I say Trump is a fraud. Trump says there’s no drought in California. I say Trump lies.”

Brown’s remarks served as a counterpoint to a Republican primary – and a Republican National Convention last week – in which climate change went nearly without mention. He spoke after a short film featuring former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, warning of the risk of climate change.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the primary.

While Trump talks and talks and talks, Hillary does stuff. She fights for us on the big issues.

Gov. Jerry Brown

Brown, a longtime champion of environmental causes, described Hillary Clinton as a forceful advocate of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

“While Trump talks and talks and talks,” Brown said, “Hillary does stuff. She fights for us on the big issues.”

Some activists in the Wells Fargo Center held signs that said “Ban Fracking,” a reference to Brown’s refusal to ban the controversial form of oil extraction.

Many conservatives and business interests have resisted policies to address global warming, and Trump has said climate change is a hoax.

In May, the New York businessman called California’s water shortage the result of environmental policies restricting water flows, declaring, “There is no drought.”

Brown last addressed a national convention in his losing campaign to Bill Clinton in 1992, when he feuded so bitterly with Clinton that he would not mention the nominee’s name. Having reconciled with the Clintons – and endorsed Hillary Clinton in May – Brown on Wednesday pointed to deep divisions between the nation’s major political parties.

“Rarely in American history have two parties diverged so profoundly,” Brown said. “Even the know-nothing, anti-immigrant party of the 1850s did not stray this far into sheer ignorance and dark fantasy as have the Republicans and their leader Donald Trump.”

While Brown tore into Trump on climate change, California’s lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, accused Trump of bigotry and malice toward toward “different views and different hews.”

Even the know-nothing, anti-immigrant party of the 1850s did not stray this far into sheer ignorance and dark fantasy as have the Republicans and their leader Donald Trump.

Gov. Jerry Brown

Newsom emphasized California’s diversity, which he said is not merely tolerated, but celebrated, contrasting that with the socially conservative views of GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.

Staring into the camera, he characterized the controversial practice of conversion therapy, or “praying away the gay,” as an emotional torture against “our most innocent citizens, our children.” He offered a message to some of them.

“When you hear people say that you and your family don’t matter because of who you are and where you come from or what you look like or who you love, I want you to know one thing,” Newsom said. “That the people in this room, the people all across this country, believe that you matter.”

Trump has said he will compete in California despite the state’s decades-long record of carrying Democratic presidential candidates and polls showing Clinton routing Trump in the state.

Asked at a breakfast hosted by Politico on Wednesday if he had met Trump, Brown recalled flying with the New York businessman from Palm Springs to Oakland, where Brown – the city’s mayor at the time – was considering bringing a casino.

“It was quite enjoyable, because he has a very nice plane,” Brown said. “The thing that I remember most: He had a Renoir at the front of the plane. As I was sitting there talking … I could not take my eye off this wonderful French impressionist painting.”

Brown added, “I don’t know whether it was real or not, but I thought it was. I thought it was a hell of a statement.”

This video features an heated debate between Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown during the 1992 Democratic Primaries. Things get personal when Brown attacks Hillary.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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