California Gov. Gavin Newsom asserted on Thursday that his fellow Democrats underestimate the importance of what his recall election means for them.
Newsom said his fate and his party’s are one, offering a warning about the consequences Democrats could face for “many, many years” at the hands of Republicans in the event that he loses in September.
“I don’t think the national Democratic Party’s asking themselves that question,” Newsom told a group of journalists with California’s McClatchy-owned newspapers. “If this was a successful recall, I think it would have profound consequences nationwide and go to not just politics, but to policy and policymaking.”
Newsom used the term “weaponization” to describe how Republicans elsewhere could try and use the process to topple Democrats, and he also said a loss could advantage the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections.
California Republicans are working hard to boot Newsom, a strident liberal and national fixture of Democratic politics as the governor of the country's largest state, from the governor's office with the Sept. 14 recall election.
Newsom's opponents have used the state’s relatively strict pandemic policies, as well as accusations that he hasn't done enough to mitigate crime, in the campaign against him, a strategy he rebuked on Thursday.
“Don’t ever confuse me with the 'defund the police' movement,” he said, adding that while he supports police reform, “I am not one of those people that think you can smash someone’s window or knock over some grandma and somehow have a slap on the wrist. I don’t buy that.”
Among the Republicans challenging him are former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, former gubernatorial candidate John Cox, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and talk radio host Larry Elder.
At least some key national Democrats recognize the importance of Newsom emerging victorious in the recall election. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren starred in a recent ad urging Californians to vote for him and blaming “Trump Republicans” for the recall effort.
Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a native Californian, also pledged to campaign for Newsom, who will be up for reelection in 2022 if he prevails.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman