It’s only been a couple of weeks since California Gov. Gavin Newsom dragged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an eviscerating ad. Now, Newsom has other red state governors in his sights—and even the Democratic Party itself.
In an interview on the July 16 episode of The Issue Is, Newsom answered questions about whether or not he’s running for president in 2024. Spoiler alert: He’s not. But the Democrat is talking about how his party can support President Joe Biden’s run and how it can handle the ongoing attacks from the GOP.
When asked about Biden’s low approval ratings, Newsom pivoted and brushed it off to say that both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron have lower approval ratings than Biden, adding that it’s difficult “these days for anyone in leadership to have more than a 40 to 50%” approval rating. He says people are justifiably angry and frustrated after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, international economic issues, and political strife.
But, Newson added, “You have to recognize what you’re up against, and right now, we’re up against the ruthlessness of the Republican Party.
“That’s not a cheap shot. You see what’s happening to all the progress we’ve made in the 21st century, all of the rights that we in many ways have taken for granted that had been afforded since the ‘60s, are being rolled back in real-time,” Newsom said. “This is a totally different moment.” He adds that the Democratic Party needs to “wake up with a different mindset” and go beyond “advancing the collective cause.”
“That’s where the party comes in. Democrats need the Democratic Party—not the president, not a speaker … the party, the infrastructure, I think, has to organize with more ferocity of focus, more determination to set the agenda, set the course, and put the other party on the defense,” Newsom said. “They are dominating the narrative. The facts are not on their side, but they’re dominating the narrative. And in this world, right now, you dominate the narrative. You win. And that’s what I’m worried about,” he said.
When Newsom was asked to describe the GOP narrative, he explained that it’s important, for example, for Americans to know that while California used its stimulus money for college savings accounts for its taxpayers, Alabama used it to open a large prison.
“This is an opportunity for the [Democratic] Party to highlight some of these things,” he said. “I mean, 1,586 books have been banned in this country in the last 12 months … that’s incredible,” Newsom adds.
When asked about the now infamous ad he ran in Florida in early July, Newsom says it was born out of the frustrations of a father of four.
“It was from a son whose mom worked to raise money for aid to the adoption of special kids,” he says. “Someone who works to get people with intellectual disabilities in positions of influence in state government. Who is disgusted by a governor in Florida, Ron DeSantis, for attacking the Special Olympics and threatening them with tens of millions of dollars in fines … Going after the gays, othering other people across the spectrum, and going after vulnerable minorities. I can’t take it … I felt he [DeSantis] needed to be called out,” he adds.
“Democrats have been wanting someone who is willing to proactively throw a punch or two at Republicans, and we haven’t seen much of that from the White House or other Democratic leaders lately. … It was somewhat refreshing,” a top Democratic donor told The Hill about Newsom’s ad.
Newsom then went after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who he said is trying to “eliminate a fundamental right for people regardless of their immigration status to get an education.”
As for gun control, Newsom said he’s proud of legislation that gives Californians the right to sue gunmakers, adding, “I don’t trust the veracity. I don’t trust the character of this Supreme Court.”
You can watch Newsom’s full interview here:
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