President Bill Clinton endorsed a slate of Democratic congressional candidates in a rally Tuesday night at UC Irvine.
More than 4,000 attended the "California's Voice" event at the Bren Events Center, where the two-term president campaigned for 26th District candidate Julia Brownley of Ventura, 47th District candidate Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, 52nd District candidate Scott Peters of San Diego, 36th District candidate Dr. Raul Ruiz of Palm Springs and 41st District candidate Mark Takano of Riverside.
Aside from stumping for the candidates, Clinton made some general remarks.
He said he is a longtime friend of the Golden State, which he visited 29 times in his first term. He called California the "state of the future."
"Because you represent everything we have for living in a world of shared prosperity, of shared responsibilities, a world where we embrace our diversity, we are proud of our community and we think our common humanity matters more," Clinton said.
He remarked that he "saw California flat on its back, and then I saw California come rolling back to lead America into the 21st century."
Clinton categorized the challenges of the world into "three baskets:" too much inequality in terms of access to jobs, small-business capital, education and health care; too much instability; and the threat of climate change.
"Climate change is going to compromise the future unless we find a way to make it an economic opportunity for global prosperity," Clinton said. He later disparaged those who don't acknowledge the reality of climate change: "Ideology does not tolerate evidence."
He also advocated maintaining President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and passing the DREAM Act, which permits legal residency for some illegal immigrants.
He also advocated for two of California's propositions.
"If you believe that cooperation works better than conflict, if you believe that shared prosperity is important, I'd vote for Prop. 30 and I'd vote against 32."
Proposition 30 would increase sales and income taxes, and Proposition 32 would ban deductions from payrolls for political use.
The event was organized by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.