News and Commentary

Newsom: Recall Election Not A ‘Fair Response’ From CA Voters

“I think it will be felt all across the country.”
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Speaking to journalists in a Zoom session on July 30, California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall election on September 14, said that the recall against him was not a fair response from voters to his tenure as governor and claimed that the effect of the recall would be “quite pronounced for many, many years. I think it will be felt all across the country.”

Not only did Newsom ramp up the effort against him as having profound consequences for the nation, but he also said that if he were recalled, it would “weaponize the recall process even more than it currently is.”

Colleen McCain Nelson, the executive editor of The Sacramento Bee, started the Q&A session by asking, “I wanted to kick things off by asking you to tell us what you think is at stake in this recall, and my question is: What do you think the consequences would be for California if you were recalled, and what might follow for the state if say, (radio host) Larry Elder, (former San Diego mayor) Kevin Faulconer, or (businessman) John Cox were sworn in as governor?”

“I’ll leave it to more objective minds, yours and others, to really assess that,” Newsom answered, before catastrophizing a possible successful recall effort against him. “My sense is, trying to be as objective as someone that’s the target of this recall as I possibly can be, I think it will be quite pronounced for many, many years. I think it will be felt all across the country. I think that people really haven’t really thought that through. I don’t think they’re asking that question. I don’t think the national Democratic Party is asking themselves that question.”

“I think the consequences of having the second incumbent governor of California recalled [of] the last three; to see the weaponization of the recall process be as effective as a successful recall effort here would weaponize the recall process even more than it currently is,” he continued. “With DA’s and city council members and school boards. I think the opportunity for the Republican Party with the midterm elections coming up in Kevin McCarthy’s backyard, in Nancy Pelosi’s state, in Kamala Harris’ home state, with California and the values we profess and practice, that would be judged in a different light. If this was [sic] a successful recall, I think it would have profound consequences nationwide, and go to not just politics, but to policy and policy-making. It would go deep to issues of immigration, climate policy, health care, broadly defined, situationally, COVID, but even beyond that. I think its repercussions would be felt next year in the governor’s race for election and beyond. So I think it’s a very good question, and it’s one I hope that people start asking themselves and begin the process to ponder and answer.”

Yousef Baig of The Sacramento Bee then asked, “Do you feel like your actions and decisions as governor would rise to a level where a recall is a fair response from the voters?”

“No,” Newsom said. “Not at all. Look, if you don’t like me, you have a chance to vote me out at the start of the primary next year.”

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