Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to attacks this week from Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom about crime in the state of Arkansas by pointing to the number of people fleeing the state of California.
Newsom tweeted on Tuesday night following Sanders’ rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address about crime in the southern state.
“While @SarahHuckabee touts public safety, here is what she skips over: Arkansas has the one of the highest murder rates in the nation,” Newsom said.
While @SarahHuckabee touts public safety, here is what she skips over:
Arkansas has the one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 8, 2023
Sanders responded to the criticism during an interview Thursday night with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who pointed out that Newsom seemingly ignored the fact that Sanders had been in office “a whopping 31 days.”
“By comparison, when you look at Gavin Newsom’s time in public office, his time as San Francisco mayor, lieutenant governor, now governor, Newsom has spent nearly 7,000 days driving California straight into the ground,” Hannity said. “Crime and homelessness are now through the roof. The drug problem in California is out of control. Reports of school children being forced to walk through open-air drug dens. California ranked dead last again in the U-haul index.”
Sanders said the fact that Newsom was attacking her proved that she was doing something right with the initial actions she has taken as the state’s new governor.
“Let’s not forget, he literally had to run ads begging people to stay in California not that long ago. And every single town I go to in Arkansas, I meet someone who has moved from California,” she said. “My message to them is we’re glad you’re here but don’t forget why you left California. We are proud of our state and our gates are open for people to come.”
On Tuesday, during her 15-minute speech following Biden’s State of the Union, Sanders contrasted Republicans’ agenda with the president’s. She leaned into what she called a “Left-wing culture war” and denounced Biden and Democrats for being “highjacked by the radical Left.” The Arkansas governor framed the differences between the two parties as those between normalcy and radicalism.
“In the radical Left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire. But you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” she continued. “The dividing line in America is no longer between Right or Left. The choice is between normal and crazy.”
Sanders went on to tout her own record as governor, despite taking office less than a month ago. The Arkansas governor mentioned her efforts to combat Critical Race Theory in education, ban the term “Latinx” in the state government, and take action against COVID regulations and lockdown measures.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.