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Democrats, progressives fight Newsom recall

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"Who knows what can happen? And, so, I'm gonna fight it."

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday that he was ready for a fight with Republicans to oppose a recall started by a small right-wing group, acknowledging that the effort appeared to have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

"Look, we're anticipating that they've got the signatures. And I just think it's important people know who they are. I mean, the chief proponent of this recall effort, the chief proponent, believes that we should microchip immigrants... It has to do immigration. The "browning" of California. It has to do deeply with our values, the thing we hold dear. And so I'm not just fighting for me, I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting for the values of this state."

The recall effort targeting Newsom began in February of last year, led by a group called the California Patriot Coalition that opposed Newsom's liberal politics.

The campaign has since picked up steam amid frustration with the state's vaccine rollout, closed schools and changing public health rules.

Prominent progressives including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to Newsom's aid in recent days, a sign that supporters are stepping up efforts to keep him in office.

Newsom and his backers opened a campaign committee on Monday and began raising funds to fight the recall.

"This is a circus. It's gonna cost $100-plus million."

Newsom, who was elected in 2018, is one of two Democratic governors under fire and at risk of removal. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing calls to resign and a possible impeachment amid allegations he sexually harassed female employees. Cuomo denies the allegations.

The last time Californians recalled their governor was in 2003, when Democrat Gray Davis was replaced by Republican and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who harnessed anger over California's electricity and budget crises, making Davis only the second state governor to be recalled in American history.

Video Transcript

GAVIN NEWSOM: Who knows what can happen? And so, I'm going to fight it.

- California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday that he was ready for a fight with Republicans to oppose a recall started by a small right-wing group, acknowledging that the effort appeared to have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

GAVIN NEWSOM: Look, we're anticipating that they've got the signatures. And I just think it's important people know who they are. I mean, the chief proponent of this recall effort, the chief proponent believes that we should microchip immigrants. It has to do with immigration. The "browning" of California. It has to do deeply with our values, the things we hold dear. And so I'm not just fighting for me, I'm fighting for you. I'm fighting for the values of the state.

- The recall effort targeting Newsom began in February of last year, led by a group called the California Patriot Coalition that opposed Newsom's liberal politics. The campaign has since picked up steam amid frustration with the state's vaccine rollout, closed schools, and changing public health rules. Prominent progressives including Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to Newsom's aid in recent days, a sign that supporters are stepping up efforts to keep him in office. Newsom and his backers opened a campaign committee on Monday and began raising funds to fight the recall.

GAVIN NEWSOM: This is a circus. It's gonna cost $100-plus million.

- Newsom, who was elected in 2018, is one of two Democratic governors under fire and at risk of removal. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing calls to resign and a possible impeachment amid allegations of sexual harassment. Cuomo denies the allegations. The last time Californians recalled their governor was in 2003, when Democrat Gray Davis was replaced by Republican and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who harnessed anger over California's electricity and budget crises, making Davis only the second state governor to be recalled in American history.