Clinton endorses Garamendi for 10th Congressional District seat

Candidate says he advocates a public option plan as part of national health care bill

Former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco Tuesday to rally for Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a Democratic nominee for Congress in the November election.

Clinton, who publicly endorsed Garamendi for the 10th Congressional District Tuesday afternoon before a crowd of hundreds of supporters, said that in the 18 years he has worked with Garamendi, the lieutenant governor has always had a smile on his face.

Garamendi served on Clinton's administration in the 1990s as Deputy Secretary of the Interior, and the two have worked together on issues including climate change, the environment and health care. Clinton highlighted those issues Tuesday, urging voters to focus on concerns such as health care and clean energy, as well as the economy.

He acknowledged the nation's tough economic times and said, "California should lead the way back."

Clinton advocated tackling multiple issues at once and said that millions of jobs could be created by upgrading every building in the state to energy-efficient standards.

"California can create more jobs out of the energy revolution than any other place in the world," he said.

Tuesday's rally opened with Garamendi, who primarily addressed health care before introducing Clinton.

"America really has to get the health care issue resolved," Garamendi said.

Garamendi, who has focused on health care issues for decades, Tuesday advocated a public option in which profit is not the goal of health care.

"It's time for us to stand and say, 'Let us get this done for all,'" he said.

Garamendi is running against Republican David Harmer in the Nov. 3 election.

Laura Dudnick,Bay City News,Jeb Bing

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