Dick Morris: Hillary's Real Nemesis in '16 Could Be Jerry Brown

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 04:39 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that California Gov. Jerry Brown is "uniquely positioned" to challenge party favorite Hillary Clinton in a 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Morris told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that rumored candidate Brown, with his populist credentials and political experience, could make trouble for perennial poll front-runner Clinton, who as a private citizen is awash in corporate money and would only rake in more as a candidate.

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"There's a real angst from the left wing of the Democratic Party, said Morris, describing "squeamishness about this massive, massive involvement [by the Clintons] with Goldman Sachs and with other major corporate sponsors."

Popular sentiment for a challenge to the Clinton family money machine has focused on Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a bane of Wall Street finance titans such as Goldman Sachs.

Last month, Newsmax contributor Morris floated Brown — two-time California governor, former Oakland mayor and repeat presidential candidate — as a potential wild card in 2016.

Brown himself has said the nomination is Clinton's if she wants it. But the idea of a Brown challenge is picking up steam in the political press as Brown seeks re-election with a healthy state budget and growing economy to his credit.

"Brown has a very good record as governor of California, and he'll get re-elected overwhelmingly in November," said Morris. "That will propel him possibly to consider running for president."

"The important thing to remember about Brown is that when he ran in '92, his whole slogan was to go against corporate campaign contributions, crony capitalism, Bill Clinton's reliance at the time on big money and major donors."

In a heated 1992 primary debate exchange, Brown went after then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his spouse directly, saying, "He is funneling money to his wife's law firm for state business."

Morris said Brown campaigned back then as the clean-living populist who repeated an 800 number for campaign donations at every debate — "These were the pre-Internet days," said Morris — and wasn't about self-enrichment.

"He never made money when he was out of office," Morris said of Brown. "He refused to live in the California governor's mansion — still refuses to — and his whole approach is the precise opposite of Hillary's vulnerability.

"He could use against her this massive moneymaking while she's been out of office — her incredible dependence on major corporations both for her personal sustenance and campaign funds," said Morris.

Clinton's millions since resigning as secretary of state come primarily from a book advance, book sales and speeches earning her $200,000 a pop.

The book tour has produced gaffes, including Clinton's much-ridiculed "dead broke" claim.

The speaking engagements are likely to continue for another year, said Morris, because "once she's running, she can't be charging for speeches and stuff like that."

The Clinton family speaking business is also likely to come up in a presidential campaign, because much of the income Bill Clinton made giving speeches overseas was while his wife was the country's top foreign-policy official.

Reports at the time said Bill Clinton had White House and State Department officials vet his overseas gigs for potential conflicts of interest.

But Morris said the setup amounted to giving Hillary Clinton final approval over the couple's joint income.

"That arrangement is going to come under some fire," said Morris, "and Brown is uniquely positioned to do that because of his personal record."

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