Newsom says recall is unfair, effects will be felt 'across the country'
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the recall effort against him is unfair and that its impacts will be felt "across the country."
"No," Newsom said during a virtual interview when asked whether he believes his actions and policies have justified a fair recall effort. "Not at all. Look, if you don't like me, just vote me out at the start of the primary next year," he added during the exchange with various California reporters published Thursday.
The recall election will be held on Sept. 14, and if a majority of Californians vote in favor of ousting the governor, the challenger with the most votes will then take office.
Notable candidates include several Republican candidates, including businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder and former Olympian-turned-TV star Caitlyn Jenner.
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"My sense is, trying to be as objective as someone who is the target of this recall as I possibly can be, I think it will be quite pronounced for many, many years," he said in response to what he thinks the consequences of a successful recall will be. "I think it will be felt all across the country. I think people haven't really thought that through. … I don't think the national Democratic Party is asking themselves that question."
He added that the recall process against him has been weaponized by people with opposing political views.
"I think the opportunity for the Republican Party with the midterm elections coming up, in [Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy's backyard, in [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi's state, in [Vice President] Kamala Harris' home state, with California and the values we profess and practice that would be judged in a different light if this was a successful recall — I think it would have profound consequences nationwide," the governor said.
Newsom named immigration, climate change, health care and the coronavirus pandemic as issues that would be impacted by a recall.
The governor has faced heavy criticism during his time in office over his response to the state's homelessness crisis, COVID-19 and rising crime in major cities across the state.
The recall push began in June of last year over claims that the governor mishandled the state's response to the pandemic. The effort was fueled by the state's COVID restrictions on businesses and houses of worship, school shutdowns and even opposition to the state's high taxes.
Everything you need to know before you vote in the California governor recall election
But the effort surged in the autumn after news came to light of Newsom's dinner at an uber-exclusive restaurant, which – at best – skirted rules imposed by the governor to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
State election officials announced in April that the recall effort had garnered more than the 1.5 million valid signatures needed to make the ballot.
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And a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies/Los Angeles Times survey released on July 27 found that 47% of likely California voters support recalling Newsom, and 50% oppose the effort. But among the wide pool of all registered voters, support for recalling the governor drops to 36%, with 51% supporting keeping Newsom in office.
Newsom's office did not return Fox News' request for comment.
Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.
Fox News' Brie Stimson and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.