Democrat Jerry Brown said Wednesday he would carry his Connecticut upset forward into critical New York while a chastened Gov. Bill Clinton aimed new attacks at his lone rival and vowed to put his march toward the presidential nomination back on course.
"This is a cause, a movement, and it's picking up," Brown said on network morning shows after squeaking by with a 1-point win over Clinton in Tuesday's Connecticut primary. He again named civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson as his choice as a running mate if he won the nomination.President Bush again thrashed conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan, 67 percent to 22 percent. But when support for uncommitted and David Duke was added to Buchanan's votes, the protest vote against the president still represented one-third of the total.
"I'm pleased with the results," Bush told supporters in a telephone call. "This is a screwy year. Frankly, I'm much more optimistic now."
Clinton vowed to halt Brown's insurgency, aggressively attacking the former California governor's flat-tax proposal and promising "we'll roll up our sleeves" to regain momentum in the April 7 contests in New York, Wisconsin and Kansas.
Brown said he wanted the advice of New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who has been on the outs with Clinton, on "how to save the cities," as the candidates focus on that state's primary.
Brown, the former California governor, warned that Bush would win if Clinton became the Democratic nominee. "The only chance we have is to move Clinton aside and give our party the opportunity to challenge Bush with credibility, with honesty, with some imagination."
On the Democratic side in Connecticut, it was 63,624 votes, or 37 percent, for Brown while Clinton received 60,894, or 36 percent. Former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas got
33,493, or 20 percent. Uncommitted received 3 percent, and 6 percent was scattered among five other candidates.
Among Republicans, it was 64,954, or 67 percent, for Bush to 21,568, or 22 percent, for Buchanan. Uncommitted received 9 percent, and just 2,255 votes, or 2 percent, went to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Turnout was light on both sides, 26.3 percent of Connecticut's registered Democrats and 21.7 percent of the Republicans.
Despite Brown's surprising win, Clinton maintained his overwhelming lead in the delegate race. Clinton won 22 delegates to Brown's 21 because of allocation rules, stretching his delegate lead over Brown even in defeat.
The Connecticut results were still trickling in when Clinton and Brown shifted the focus to the contests ahead, with the most attention on the biggest trophy: New York. Both men campaigned there Wednesday.
Brown's call for a 13 percent flat tax "declares war on New York," Clinton said, maintaining that it would trigger an accompanying 13 percent sales tax. "It would triple taxes on the poor, increase taxes on the middle class by 30 percent and lower taxes on rich Americans."
Brown said Clinton's information came from "those folks in Washington who love" the current tax system.
In addition to their post-election speeches, Brown and Clinton also appeared together on ABC-TV's "Nightline" program, where both endorsed the use of force if Iraq refused to cooperate with U.N. nuclear inspectors.
Both also tried to position themselves as Washington outsiders.
"I don't think you can posture yourself as an outsider next to me," Brown told Clinton.
"He became a convert to this reform the day he announced for president," Clinton retorted.
It was a pointed but polite preview to what promises to be a hectic campaign over the next two weeks.
For Brown, the challenge is to prove he can win in a big state like New York.
"Connecticut raises the stakes of the next events in New York and Wisconsin," said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin. "If Clinton comes back strong in the next round of primaries, Connecticut will be forgotten."
New York Democratic chairman John Marino said Clinton had the superior state organization but said Brown also had potential in the state, where primary results will be scrutinized to see if Clinton can rally the party behind him.
Clinton won 22 Democratic convention delegates Tuesday night to bring his total to 987.25 in The Associated Press delegate count. Brown picked up 21 delegates to climb to 150.25. Tsongas earned 10 to bring his total to 429.25, according to the AP count.