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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Clinton Campaigns for Davis in California

Aired September 14, 2003 - 13:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's listen in. The president, the former president of the United States, getting a very, very enthusiastic response from this predominantly African-American church in Los Angeles. He's come to fight back on this recall.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, you're supposed to be humble in church.

(LAUGHTER)

So you need to calm down. You may have me thinking I'm president again if you don't stop that.

(LAUGHTER)

Just calm down. Calm down.

Reverend Murray (ph), I'm glad to be with you again. The first time we were together was after the riots in 1992. And I want to come back to that in a moment. I admired you then, and I admire you now, and I thank God for your service and your ministry. Thank you.

Reverend Worth (ph) and Bishop Brookings (ph) -- Bishop Brookings (ph), you know, once was exiled to a far place.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm not talking about down in South Africa, I'm talking in Lesotho or someplace. I'm talking, they sent him to Arkansas. That's a far place.

(LAUGHTER)

And he became my bishop.

(LAUGHTER)

And we became friends. And I'm glad he's still out here kicking around and fighting for what he believes.

(APPLAUSE) And I'm very grateful for the presence and the leadership of my longtime friend, the head of the NAACP, Julian Bond. Thank you, Julian, for being here.

(APPLAUSE)

Julian, sent me a copy of a speech he gave the other day. And I thought it was so good, I made Hillary read it.

(LAUGHTER)

I sent it around to all these other politicians. And after a while, I got mad because I realized it was better than anything I'd had said in a long, long time. It was great.

(LAUGHTER)

I want to thank Juanita Millender-McDonald and Diane Watson for the friendship they gave to me when they were in the Congress and I was in the White House and for the leadership they gave to you.

(APPLAUSE)

Attorney General Lockyer, you know, that's his baby he's been up here holding.

(LAUGHTER)

(UNKNOWN): Diego.

CLINTON: Diego. Yes, that's one way to keep from getting old, Bill. I tell you, that's one way.

(LAUGHTER)

You better keep fit. That boy's got to go to college, and, you know...

(LAUGHTER)

I want to thank John Garamindi (ph), who helped me so much in 1992, introduced me to all those Basque farmers up in northern California. I thought Basque people were in northern Spain. There're more in northern California than northern Spain. And he and his wife were part of my administration and served well, and I'm grateful to them.

I thank Yvonne Braithraite Burke (ph), my longtime friend.

(APPLAUSE)

And Mayor Jim Hahn, who when was your prosecutor way back in the early '90s before I ever knew I was going to be president, took me into neighborhoods in Los Angeles and showed me brave people who were trying to protect children and keep their neighborhood safe, and I was gratified when you gave him a chance to be your mayor. (APPLAUSE)

And then there's the governor. I want to tell you a story even the governor doesn't know. In 1980, in the Reagan landslide -- I say this to remind you that politics has tides...

(LAUGHTER)

Sometimes we're coming in, and sometimes we're getting washed out, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

So, in 1978, I was elected governor. I was the youngest governor in the country. I was 32 years old. And I was dumb enough to think for a moment I was somebody.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

In 1980, I was the youngest ex-governor in the history of America.

(APPLAUSE)

I mean, there were people I had appointed who would walk across the street to keep from being seen with me.

(LAUGHTER)

You could have made a lot of money if you'd bought stock in me back then.

(LAUGHTER)

Because my price was low.

(LAUGHTER)

And we had two-year terms. Everything that could go wrong did.

And Gray Davis had been Jerry Brown's chief of staff. And he left. And Jerry Brown called me, then governor, now the mayor of Oakland, said, "You ought to come out here and be my chief of staff." He said, "I can't believe they beat you over that piddly little tax increase at home." He said, "I'll just let you run the governor's office. You'll have a great time, and you'll love California."

I've often wondered what would have happened to me if I'd taken the governor up on his offer.

(APPLAUSE) But I didn't give up, and I wasn't going to let them run me out of my home state. So I stayed there, and it worked out pretty well for everybody.

I say that because things happen in life over which we have some control, things happen over which we have no control. And then, because we're human, we make a few mistakes of our own along the way.

(APPLAUSE)

And so I want you to think about all that today -- about the things that happen over which we have no control, about the things over which we have some control and about the mistakes we make along the way.

They gave me a Bible when I came in, your church did. I liked that.

(LAUGHTER)

(END AUDIO FEED)

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