Calif. gov.: 2016 is Hillary's ‘if she wants’

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 is Hillary Clinton’s "if she wants."

In an interview with The Washington Post, Brown said, "primaries are never good for general elections" when asked if the party could benefit from healthy competition in 2016.

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“I really believe that Hillary Clinton has the presence, the experience and the support of the vast majority of Democrats in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime,” Brown told the newspaper. “She has this if she wants.”

Clinton is seen as the likely Democratic nominee if she runs and early polls show her vastly outperforming other potential candidates, including Vice President Biden. 

The 76-year-old Brown has launched three previous White House bids, the most recent coming in 1992 that left bad blood between him and Bill Clinton. While he said Bill is formidable, Brown said, "Hillary is even more formidable in terms of what she brings."

He said his focus remains on himself, and the Clinton's likely would not appreciate advice from him. 

“I’m not in the business of giving people advice, particularly to the Clintons, nor would they appreciate it.”

The California governor, who is running for reelection this year, has previously ruled out another presidential bid. In the interview, he left the door open in the narrowest of ways. 

“If no one runs and [everyone] says we’ll have an absent Democratic nominee, would I rule that out?” Brown said. “I mean, that would be a little silly, wouldn’t it?”

When asked the question in January, he said California is a lot more governable than the United States. 

"No, that’s not in the cards, unfortunately,” he said at the time. 

Brown said today’s divide between Republicans and Democrats makes it appear as if the two parties are living in different nations. Democrats must nominate a person who can find a middle ground, he said. 

Brown said he is not clear who that person is. And when asked if it could be Clinton, he said, "We'll find out."