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Republican John Cox is ramping up his campaign as a month remains for supporters to submit signatures in their effort to recall Governor Newsom. He joins ABC7 News to talk about challenging Newsom, and his plans get California back in business.
KRISTEN SZE: We're a little less than a month from the deadline for supporters to submit signatures in their effort to recall Governor Newsom. Organizers have surpassed the 1.5 million threshold but are still collecting more because, invariably, thousands will be thrown out when they can't be validated. But the recall election is looking possible. And republicans are already angling to be Newsom's replacement.
Yesterday, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer campaigned in San Francisco in front of a closed Lincoln High School to say that the governor has failed in getting education back on track. Today, another republican, one who ran against Newsom and lost in 2018, is making news. Joining us live is San Diego businessman, John Cox. Thanks for joining us, John.
JOHN COX: Great to be with you, Kristen. Thank you.
KRISTEN SZE: So you were on ABC 7 two weeks ago when you told us you were definitely running. Today you committed a new round of $1 million to your campaign, bringing your personal contribution to $2 million. So you have the money. But do you have the grassroot support?
JOHN COX: Well actually Kristen, we've got over 2,000 contributors already. And I'm calling people who helped in 2018 and everybody wants to get involved in this because they see the massive mismanagement and corruption that's gone on in this state.
Kristen, I've got nephews that live in Orlando, Florida. And Disney World has been open since July. They've been going to school full time the whole time. Our schools are still shut down. Our kids are still not going to school. They're not involved in their activities. We're inflicting untold damage on our kids. Our restaurants are still closed. California is the only state in the country that still doesn't allow indoor dining.
Our results aren't any different. This is not about the science. Our results aren't that much different than Florida's. And I think people are just tired of this. And they just want some change.
KRISTEN SZE: All right. So if you think the governor has failed on safe school reopenings, and I've heard you talk about his handling of the vaccine distribution as well, on those two huge challenges how would you have done things differently?
JOHN COX: Well, first of all, I would have involved the pharmacies. The governor of West Virginia who was a democrat is a business guy. And he went right to the pharmacies. He immediately got 90% of the doses into the arms of people there. In California, we got 6,000 pharmacies. We should have used them for testing early on. Now we should be using them for vaccines. That's massive distribution instead of these huge super sites.
Obviously, I would have had our kids back in school. I mean, they have been back in school all across the nation. And there aren't any real instances of teachers having any problems or students having problems. And we're inflicting untold damage on our kids. And of course, the small businesses. The big businesses have been allowed to operate. Costco and Home Depot are doing fine. But our small businesses are literally being crushed. We have millions of people unemployed. Yet we're still sending $30 billion in unemployment insurance and fraudulent payments.
The mismanagement of the state is legendary, Kristen. And meanwhile, Gavin Newsom gives no bid contracts to people who make big contributions to his campaign. It's the same old corrupt circle in Sacramento. And I think people are sick of it. I am. And we want to change. And I'm going to try to bring real results to Sacramento.
KRISTEN SZE: So John, I know you've also hammered Governor Newsom over his French Laundry dinner. So to be fair, do you also denounce republican senator Ted Cruz for going to Cancun amid a massive disaster in his state?
JOHN COX: Well listen, I pointed out corruption part of republicans. I called out Kevin Faulconer who gave a sweetheart deal to a major donor, bought a building from them that turns out to have asbestos. It's those kinds of corruption by republicans and democrats.
You know Kristen, I'm a businessman. I'm not a career politician. I just want to solve the problems of this state. I hope people recognize that we can have water. We can have electricity. We can do something about the fires. We can do something about homelessness and about the cost of living in housing. But we've got to get away from these politicians who really aren't interested in solving the / they're interested in their future and in their ambitions.
I'm just interested in getting this state back on track, getting real solutions. And I hope that's what people focus on.
KRISTEN SZE: So we're out of time. But I don't want to just infer. So you are saying Ted Cruz probably should not have gone to Cancun.
JOHN COX: Oh, If he knew that the state was having these problems, no. I wouldn't have gone to Cancun. But I mean, listen. We need to call out all kinds of misbehavior on the part of people. I mean he was dealing with his own kids. What I'm focused on is California. I'm focused on getting results here. And that's what this recall is all about, turning this state around, getting real solutions. And people can go to johncox.com and they'll see a whole section on real solutions to all these issues. And I think that's what the voters of this station [INAUDIBLE] really want.
KRISTEN SZE: John, Republican hoping to replace Governor Newsom, should that recall election happen. Thank you so much for your time today. Take care.
JOHN COX: Thank you, Kristen.