Bill Clinton touts Brown for Md. governor

President Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, at left, on Tuesday night. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

POTOMAC, Md. — President Bill Clinton was the star attraction at a private fundraiser Tuesday night for a man who wants to be Maryland’s next governor.

The 42nd president spoke at the Bolger Center, in Potomac, on behalf of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, whom Clinton endorsed last month.

“I’m here for two reasons. One is, I do admire and feel enormous affection for Anthony Brown. I think he’s the best-qualified person to be governor. I think he is well motivated; I think he’s got the right ideas.

“The second reason is, I think it’s important, when people have got a deal that’s working, to build on it, not reverse it. I think Martin O’Malley has been a great governor of Maryland,” said Clinton.

Clinton says the state is an example for the rest of the U.S.

“Maryland has got a lot to teach the rest of America in terms of what you get if you get everybody together and you focus on what’s best for people.”

The President had quite a bit to say about the health care overhaul and some of the glitches that have come with it.

“I don’t care what anybody else says, or what our friends in the other party say — the worst thing we could have done on heath care was nothing.”

He says the fact that problems with Maryland’s health care website are being addressed is a reason to support Brown.

“I do not want, ever in my life, to vote for a president or a governor who has never made a mistake or never had a setback,” Clinton said. “Since I will never run for anything else, I can tell you something with absolute conviction. When all this is done, there’s only three things that matter: Are people better off when you quit than when you started? Do the children have a brighter future? And are we coming together, or being torn apart?

“If you can answer yes to those three questions, then wherever you served, whatever you did, however small or large, in the words of Martin Luther King’s favorite hymn, your living was not in vain.”

At one point, Clinton said, “I love politics,” to laughs from the audience, smiling and wiggling his hands in the air. “I loved every election I was ever in. Hillary said I liked it so much I would run just to get beat.”

More than 700 people attended the fundraiser, which was expected to raise more than $1 million for the campaign.

In June, Brown will face Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Heather Mizeur in the Democratic primary.

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