Bill Clinton endorsed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for California governor, as both the former president and the mayor spoke about the importance of energy efficiency and higher education to students at Los Angeles City College on Monday.
“Gavin Newsom has walked the walk. He doesn’t just talk about it,” Clinton said. “I’m glad that he plans to do it on a larger scale.”
Even before Clinton’s endorsement, Newsom had gained a strong following at USC. USC Students for Gavin Newsom held a phone bank on campus Saturday, and has been the most active group to campaign for a gubernatorial candidate at USC so far.
Clinton spoke to LACC students about the importance of using green technology to increase jobs, and how providing more affordable education could help achieve that.
“This country needs to make a big comeback,” he said. “This is not rocket science. California needs jobs and America needs jobs.”
He said he believed the state can get one million lost jobs back with new businesses that promote energy efficiency.
Newsom echoed Clinton’s advice with his campaign goals to produce green jobs and invest in alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
He also said he wanted to expand the universal health care system he helped establish in San Francisco to encompass the entire state and, eventually, the nation.
“If a city can do it, a county can certainly do it. If a county can do it, a state can do it. And make no mistake,” Newsom told students. “If a state can do it, this country can do it. The United States of America has a moral and ethical — as well as economic obligation — to make sure we deliver on this promise.”
Newsom added that the state is responsible for reconciling price increases at state colleges and universities, telling LACC students they had the opportunity to do something about the controversial issue.
“I encourage all of you to get involved and to be a part of the change — part of the new direction here in California,” he said.
Restoring California’s economy with job creation and college assistance are plans Newsom has for the state if elected next fall.
His goals are achievable on a state level, said LACC student Sarah Florez, who attended the event and also plans to transfer to USC next fall.
“Every place should be like San Francisco in going green,” she said.
Neither Clinton or Newsom made any mention of Jerry Brown, California’s attorney general who has filed initial papers for a gubernatorial run and who was involved in clashes with Clinton during the 1992 democratic primaries.
The LACC speech and public endorsement was followed by a private fundraiser, where tickets were priced up to $50,000, according to the Associated Press.