California Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 "if she wants."
"I really believe that Hillary Clinton has the presence, the experience, and the support of the vast majority of Democrats in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime," the Democrat told The Washington Post
. "She has this if she wants."
Clinton is weighing a White House bid, but polls have long shown
her faring better than many possible Republican contenders, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Brown, 76, has run for president three times. The most recent was in 1992 — and it left bad blood between him and Bill Clinton.
He told the Post that "Bill was formidable" but added, "Hillary is even more formidable in terms of what she brings."
Still, Brown said he doesn't think Hillary Clinton will seek his advice on running a presidential campaign.
"I'm not in the business of giving people advice, particularly to the Clintons, nor would they appreciate it," he told the Post.
Brown, who is running for re-election this fall, also does not think the Democrats will benefit from a long primary season. "Primaries are never good for general elections."
While he ruled out another presidential run earlier this year, Brown did not do so to the Post.
"If no one runs and [everyone] says we'll have an absent Democratic nominee, would I rule that out?" Brown asked. "I mean, that would be a little silly, wouldn’t it?"
He said that Washington is deeply partisan and that Democrats need to nominate a candidate who can bring forth consensus. "We need a Democrat who can do that."
Who might that be?
"Not clear," Brown responded.
When asked whether it might be Hillary Clinton, he said: "I don't know. We'll find out."
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