Gavin Newsom Takes Aim at Larry Elder as California Recall Builds Up Steam
It looks like California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is recognizing the risks of a recall are real as he takes aim at Republican front-runner, conservative-libertarian radio host Larry Elder.
In a Zoom call at the end of last week, Newsom, without actually naming Elder, referred to him as a Donald Trump supporter who “thinks climate change is a hoax, believes we need more offshore drilling, more fracking, does not believe a woman has a right to choose [and] actually came out against Roe v. Wade, [and] does not believe in a minimum wage.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Newsom even said Elder subscribes to the woefully mistaken belief that Trump actually won reelection. In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Elder actually made it clear that he believes President Joe Biden won the election, but then went on to complain about how Hillary Clinton did the exact same thing when she lost to Trump in 2016—complain inaccurately about the election being stolen.
Elder, in some of the most recent polling, is the front-runner to replace Newsom should the recall against Newsom succeed. And while early polling had Newsom successfully holding the recall off, subsequent polls have shown more and more undecided voters saying they want to replace the governor, and now the race is dead even as to whether to keep or toss him.
Newsom and the Democratic Party’s tactic has been to paint the recall as a plot to seize power by Republicans and to paint everybody involved as pro-Trump anti-vaxxers. And therefore, all the Republicans jockeying to replace Newsom are the same.
But Newsom’s tactic here has actually ended up being the opening to give Elder the space to actually talk about what he really believes, and an interview with SFGATE‘s Eric Ting published Monday lets him hit back at some of these claims. And to give Elder some credit here, he is well aware that just because he holds certain conservative positions doesn’t mean he can or will be able to implement them as governor. Yes, he doesn’t support the state’s minimum wage and he’s anti-abortion, but Elder also tells Ting, “I’m not going to change the minimum wage. I’m not trying to overturn Roe v. Wade; I don’t even have the power to control abortion as governor. I’ve been in Kern County these past few days and no one has asked about the minimum wage or these other issues the media and Newsom are talking about.”
And with that, Elder smartly pivots to what people in California actually are talking about: crime, homelessness, and housing issues. Ting pushes Elder on what he could actually do as a Republican governor given that the Democr
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