California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) took to the airwaves Monday to address efforts to recall him, blaming the Republican National Committee, militias, and conspiracy theorists for the effort.
In his interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Newsom proclaimed:
“Let me be more candid and more direct. The principal sponsor of this recall effort wants to put microchips in immigrant aliens. We have folks that are literally part of the 3% militia group — right-wing group — that are part of the principal proponents of this effort.”
Newsom added that, “It has a lot to do with me, it has a lot to do with everybody watching. It has to do with our values as Democrats. The RNC is the second largest donor to this effort.”
The effort to recall Newsom began last year for what many Californians believed were draconian restrictive measures to combat COVID-19.
Newsom said of the stay-at-home orders he implemented last year, “We agonized about the sacrifices it would require. We made sure that science–not politics drove our decisions.”
But locking down an economy that was already in jeopardy was too much for many Californians.
In September of 2020, California’s unemployment rate was 11%, well above the national average of 7.9%. Since the lockdown began in March of 2020, California, which accounts for roughly 12% of the national population, accounted for 16.4% of the nation’s unemployment.
According to Fox News, the recall initiative announced it had collected 2 million signatures.
Recall supporters have until Wednesday to submit all voter-signed petitions, and election officials would have until April 29 to verify them.
Gavin Newsom, with the support of several of his political allies, launched a website to defend himself against the effort and paint the recall as a Republican effort.
The website alleges that “a partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigration activists, and Trump supporters” are the muscle behind the recall effort.
There is also a thirty-second video that claims the recall effort is a “power grab,” and goes on to blame “violent white supremacists, like The Proud Boys, who attacked our nation’s capitol on Jan. 6.”
But how much muscle do Republicans have in California?
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, of the eight in ten adults that are registered to vote in California, or 83% of the population, 46.3% are Democrats and 24% are Republicans.
Gavin Newsom’s support system comes from Democrats not just in California, but from all over the nation.
Democrat Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have all voiced their opposition, using the “Republican recall” talking points.
Padilla was recently appointed by Newsom to fill the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Also lending their support to fight the recall efforts are California Democrats Katie Porter and Ro Khanna. Voting rights advocate and former Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams has also thrown her support behind Newsom.
The California Democrat Party has given $250,000 towards the fight against the recall, the Republican National Committee has given the same amount towards the effort to oust Newsom.
Spokesman for the RecallGavin2020 campaign, Randy Economy, called Newsom’s attempt to portray the campaign as some sort of extremist movement “pathetic” and that Newsom was “resorting to political desperation.”
“Gavin Newsom is resorting to political desperation. He now, finally, has accepted the fact that there will be a recall election being held this year to decide the direction of California and his political fate. For him to continue to label the people’s campaign as extremist is sad, pathetic and just goes to show how out of touch he really is.”
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