With Super Tuesday looming, former president Bill Clinton Monday urged voters in California to support his wife's bid to become the Democratic presidential standard-bearer.
"Will you be there for (Hillary Rodham Clinton) tomorrow?" Clinton asked a crowd of about 1,000 people gathering at the gymnasium at Santa Ana College near downtown Los Angeles.
"Will California stick with her as you always have?" he asked.
"The reason I want California to be there for Hillary tomorrow is, you know, we have always been there for you," Clinton said.
During his 15-minute talk, Clinton also said, "The fundamental problem with this economy is, after producing 22.7 million jobs and moving almost 8 million people from poverty into the middle class in the 90s, this decade has produced only 5 million jobs and that many people have fallen from middle class into poverty."
"Because the next president cannot pass health care reform, energy reform, jobs reform, education reform without some Republican votes in the Senate, and (Hillary Clinton) has proved that she can do it in a way that does not compromise her principles, " he added.
For the first time in decades, California, the most populous state in the nation, plays a crucial early role in the presidential race. All Democratic and Republican candidates have come to the state one after another to seek votes.
Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were locked in a tumultuous battle for the 370 California delegates at stake Tuesday, while Republican John McCain had his eye on the 170 Republican delegates as he sought to dispatch Mitt Romney.