Republican California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder condemned Critical Race Theory (CRT) as well state public schools on Monday and said if elected, he would declare a statewide emergency over the increasing homeless population.
Elder, a conservative talk show host and the leading contender to replace Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom if he is recalled, made the comments during a meeting of the Republican Party of San Diego County before an estimated crowd of 1,000 attendees.
He received a standing ovation as he approached the podium, as supporters chanted, “Larry, Larry, Larry.”
Elder emphasized his outsider status and joked that he had been a politician “officially for two weeks and three days.” He recognized that Democrats dominate Sacramento but promised to exercise veto power on their legislative priorities if he becomes governor.
“I can stop a lot of bad stuff from happening at the very least,” Elder said.
He went on to criticize public education statewide and said many districts had failed black and brown students attending inadequate schools who do not meet the state standards for English. Elder advocated for giving parents options to send their children to schools they choose, be it public, charter, or private institutions.
“The polls show that the majority of urban black or brown parents want choice, yet they pull that lever year after year after year for the Democratic Party that has not given them the first step toward leaving poverty, which is a quality high school education,” said Elder.
Still, Elder said he does not believe in systemic racism, claiming a small minority of people in America hold racist views.
“Who would have thought just years after elected and re-electing the first black president we’d be talking about reparations or critical race theory? Are you kidding me?” said Elder. “Systemic racism is not the problem, and Critical Race Theory and reparations are not the answer.”
He blamed the “welfare state” for high numbers of black children being born outside of wedlock, saying such policies “have incentivized women to marry the government” and “incentivized men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility.”
Early Tuesday morning, Elder tweeted a picture from the event vowing to revoke mandates requiring face coverings or vaccinations if elected. He also said he thought there were “shenanigans” in the 2020 presidential election, “But it’s time to focus on retaking the White House in 2024,” he said.
1) Do I believe there were shenanigans in the 2020 presidential election? Yes. But it’s time to focus on retaking the White House in 2024.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 10, 2021
More details from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
For several people who attended Monday’s event, Newsom’s COVID-19 lockdown orders and mask mandates are big reasons why they’re supporting Newsom’s recall.
They said Newsom’s lockdown orders hurt small businesses, churches, and schools by forcing them to close. They believe the state was arbitrary in deciding which businesses and establishments could remain open during COVID-19 and which ones had to close.
Some said they like Elder because, like former President Donald Trump, he’s an outsider who isn’t part of the political establishment, which they believe is full of cronyism.
According to ABC News’ San Diego affiliate, “There were also flyers and posters at the event for another gubernatorial candidate, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer,” also a Republican, who was not present at the meeting.
Watch Elder’s full speech here.
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