Former President Bill Clinton helped draw hundreds of supporters to a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's campaign for governor Tuesday night.
Clinton said Brown is best suited to build on the work already completed by term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley, who also attended the fundraiser and received additional praise from Clinton. O'Malley is considering a run for president in 2016, as is Clinton's wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Maryland is exhibit A for the simple message I try to bring to America every day: There are places in this country right now where prosperity is being more broadly shared even though inequality is increasing,'' Clinton, a former governor of Arkansas, said.
Clinton also praised Brown for supporting adoption and foster homes, as well as for working to fight domestic violence.
"He's got the right experience,'' Clinton said. "He's got the right agenda. He's got the right ability and determination and the right kind of support.''
Clinton added that he was not bothered by the problems that have plagued Maryland's health exchange website, part of an overall initiative Brown was leading to implement health care reform in Maryland. Clinton said he would never vote for a president or governor who had not had to contend with a mistake or setback. He commended efforts to fix the problems and to enroll people who didn't have health care.
"I don't care what anybody else says or what our friends in the other party say: The worst thing we could have done on health care was nothing,'' Clinton said.
The Brown campaign estimated the fundraiser would bring in more than $1 million. More than 700 people attended, paying between $250 and $4,000 apiece.
Maryland's primary is June 24. Brown is running against Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur in the primary.