Politics
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the ceremony naming the new Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, after him Wednesday, July 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Flashback: Bill Clinton endorsed Bob Filner for San Diego Mayor in 2012

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Before 13 women stepped forward to accuse San Diego Democratic Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment, Filner was not the political pariah he is now.

Prior to his election as mayor — and the recent, numerous sexual harassment accusations — former President Bill Clinton endorsed Filner, asking voters to join him “in supporting Bob Filner for mayor” in 2012.

According to a report from KPBS from Oct. 31, 2012, at a news conference announcing the endorsement, Filner said that he frequently spoke with the former president.

“We convinced him this race for mayor was of national importance,” Filner said, according to the local news report.

The campaign played the endorsement, which was relayed as a recorded telephone call, at the news conference. (RELATED: 12th, 13th women accuse Filner of sexual harassment)

“As president I worked with Bob to save San Diego taxpayers more than $3 billion and to secure funding for construction of the veterans’ home,” Clinton, who famously battled his own sexual harassment accusations and infidelity issues, said in the endorsement.

“Bob has the experience to move San Diego forward, to create good paying 21st century jobs, support quality public education, and put neighborhoods first, not special interests,” he added.

“As a freedom rider in the 1960s Bob showed he had the courage to do what’s right. That’s what he did in Congress, and that’s exactly what he’ll do as mayor of San Diego,” Clinton concluded.

Listen:

Filner has refused to step down as mayor, even as more women step forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and calls for his resignation grow louder.

Monday, Filner began two weeks of therapy. To date, he faces one lawsuit from his former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.

Follow Caroline on Twitter