Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton poll closer in the race for the California primary among eligible voters.

Bill Clinton says Trump should be able to speak without facing violent protests

 (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Former President Bill Clinton condemned the violent protests outside Donald Trump’s campaign rally Thursday in San Jose, calling Friday for peace and respectful listening.

“If people want to protest Mr. Trump or Hillary or me or anyone, fine, but it should be peaceful. People should be able to have their say," Clinton told The Times after rallying supporters for his wife, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, in a Burbank park. "We should listen to everybody respectfully. We can win this argument; we don’t need to shout it down.”

The Clintons are barnstorming California in the lead-up to the primary Tuesday. Clinton is expected to clinch the nomination before the polls even close in California, but her campaign is working hard to avoid an embarrassing loss here to rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton urged his wife’s supporters to not take her victory for granted.

“If you have a ballot and you haven’t mailed it in yet, for goodness sakes, do it,” he told supporters at the noontime rally.

Clinton pointed out without mentioning his name that Sanders and Hillary Clinton had Senate voting records that were 93% identical, with his wife voting for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that Sanders did not support.

Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach and track record of accomplishments are the reason so many Democratic leaders, including Gov. Jerry Brown, are supporting her, the former president said.

“Not because they’re against him, but because they want to get something done and they think she is a real leader,” Clinton said.

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