Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown argued on Tuesday evening that Democrats should seriously consider nominating California Governor Jerry Brown in 2020 to challenge President Donald Trump.
When Chris Matthews asked Brown on Hardball about the presidential prospects and ambitions of California Democrats like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Brown said “California is loaded with talent” and the party should look to California for its next presidential nominee.
“Don’t forget Jerry Brown. No matter what age you might think Jerry Brown really is, he’s never been through the process of growing old by virtue of hard work,” Brown said. “Jerry Brown is still an entity that the Democratic Party should be looking at. Period.”
The legendary and plugged-in San Francisco Democrat said unless Democrats can find a “phenom” like Barack Obama in 2020, they will be in trouble because the party does not have a “playbook” yet for winning over a broad coalition of voters to win the White House.
After Trump’s election, left-wing activists have been struggling with how to appeal to blue-collar white voters who tipped the election for Trump while also motivating voters more concerned about racial and gender politics.
Jerry Brown, as the head of the Resistance State, could potentially appeal to both groups if he throws his hat into the 2020 ring. Though he has been all over the map on trade and globalization in recent years, Brown opposed NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and warned about the unintended consequences of globalization during his 1992 presidential run, attracting the types of disaffected blue-collar workers who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the primaries and then voted for Trump in the general election in 2016.
Brown, who signed the Golden State’s “sanctuary state” bill into law last year, also appealed to amnesty activists when he recently accused the Trump administration of waging “war” against California after Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California over three of its sanctuary laws. Trump also bashed Brown after the California governor agreed to send National Guardsmen to the border so long as they did not participate in immigration enforcement activities.
Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2018
Brown also blasted “low-life” anti-amnesty politicians in California for backing anti-sanctuary ordinances at a National Press Club event in Washington, DC, and Trump taunted “Moonbeam” Brown at a Michigan rally on the night of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Bill Press, the former California Democratic Party chair who worked on Brown’s 1976 presidential campaign, also recently floated a possible Brown candidacy. Press told Politico California that he regretted advising Brown against running for president in 2016 and said Brown would “absolutely” run in 2020 if the California governor were a decade younger.
“I’m saying it’s not crazy: the front runners are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” Press reportedly said. “Jerry’s in better shape physically at 80 than Trump is at 71… And intellectually, he’s got it all over Trump.”
Though Brown has repeatedly said that he just wants to retire on his Northern California ranch after his gubernatorial term ends, Press reportedly added that Brown is “not going to disappear into the ranch at Colusa County.”