California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on the brink of being recalled over his horrific handling of the coronavirus in his state – attempted to claim that the effort to oust him was racist.
Newsom suggested that the authors of the petition fear California is becoming less white under his leadership.
“Look at the petition, look at the actual reasons they themselves listed. It has to do with immigration. The ‘browning’ of California,” Newsom said, using air quotes to emphasize “browning.”
The petition for his recall does not mention race. It states, among other reasons for his removal: “Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens.”
The desperate governor is clearly grasping at straws and spoke to the press at an Alameda County, California, elementary school.
Newsom said his fight to stay as governor “has to do deeply with our values, the things we hold dear and so I’m not just fighting for me, I’m fighting for you.”
Newsom acknowledged that the issue of his removal would come to a vote. “The reality is it looks like it’s got on the ballot, so we’re ready to go,” he told reporters. “We will fight it, we will defeat it.”
The governor also said the petition to remove him was fueled by alt-right conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump supporters.
“The chief proponent believes that we should microchip immigrants,” the California governor told reporters Tuesday. “Look at the original sponsors of it, you have someone who is…a proud member of the three percenters – an alt right militia group. Others that are devout conspiracy theorists that believe Q-Anon. Another that literally supports the insurrection, supported it on January 6th. That’s the group,” he concluded.
More than 2 million people have reportedly signed the petition.
Newsom is also facing criticism for trying to save face after he appeared to throw fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, under the bus earlier this week when he pledged to appoint a Black woman to fill her Senate seat should she step down.
Christine Pelosi, a former executive for the state Democratic Party, called it a “very bad look” for Newsom, whom she hinted was attempting to defend himself against a recall effort to force him from office.
A former communications director for Feinstein, Gil Duran, wrote an opinion article in The Sacramento Bee defending Feinstein and accusing Newsom of stabbing her in the back.
“By dangling Feinstein’s seat, Newsom hopes to shore up support as he enters a challenging year,” Duran wrote. “The only problem: Feinstein has four years left in this term.”
Twitter users also appeared to be confused after the MSNBC interview aired, asking whether Feinstein had announced she was retiring.
Newsom said during an interview with MSNBC on Monday that he had several names in mind to replace Feinstein as he committed to choosing a Black woman.
“I have multiple names in mind. We have multiple names in mind,” Newsom said during the interview.
Newsom took heat after he failed to appoint a Black woman to replace Vice President Kamala Harris, who had vacated her Senate seat to join President Biden’s White House and had been the only Black female senator in the chamber. Instead, he chose former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.