Newsom suggests recall motives are racist
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California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested a racist motive behind the effort to recall him, saying 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."
Newsom spoke to the press at an Alameda County, California, elementary school. 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."
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," Newsom told reporters. "We will fight it, we will defeat it."
The recall petition was prompted by Newsom’s strict handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but the governor said it 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.
Nevertheless, more than 2 million people have reportedly signed the petition.
Newsom also tried to walk back some surprising comments he made Monday on MSNBC, telling Joy Reid he already had "multiple" candidates in mind to replace Sen. Diane Feinstein if she retired.
The comments were in answer to whether or not he would replace her with a Black female senator after Vice President Kamala Harris stepped down from her congressional post to enter the White House.
But Feinstein, 87, still has another three years in her term left.
The California senator backed Newsom Tuesday, telling reporters that people misunderstood the governor’s comments and said it was being made into a "mountain out of a molehill," reported Politico.
"It was a hypothetical. I hope she serves out her entire term," Newsom said Tuesday. "I was asked a direct question, I tend to answer direct questions."
"I got to work on that perhaps," he added, saying he will avoid answering hypothetical questions in the future.