LOS ANGELES - Last July, in the midst of the state’s second ever recall campaign, Conservative Radio Host Larry Elder announced he would join dozens of other challengers trying to oust Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Eight weeks later, although the recall effort would ultimately fail, Elder would raise more than $22 million, and receive some 3.5 million votes, more than all of his political rivals combined.
As the attention now turns to the 2022 regular Gubernatorial election, Elder made another announcement this week - he would not be challenging Newsom again. Instead, he’s forming a new Political Action Committee, Elder for America, set on supporting Republican candidates across the country.
Following his announcement, Elder joined Elex Michaelson on The Issue Is to discuss lesson’s from last year’s campaign, his new political venture, ongoing debates over COVID policy, a potential future White House run, and much more.
Also this week, Michaelson is joined by Politico White House correspondent Alex Thompson to discuss ongoing challenges with COVID testing availability, the anniversary of the January 6th Capitol riot, and the status of the Biden agenda, especially as political infighting and palace intrigue have taken center stage.
THE ISSUE IS: PRESIDENT ELDER?
ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Who knows what the future will bring? Larry Elder is only a pawn in the game of life. All I know is that, in the near term, I'm not going to challenge Gavin Newsom in 2022 - there won't be a rematch. I'm sure he's breathing a sigh of relief.... I have no idea how my future holds. If the phone rings, I'm going to answer it.... I enjoyed campaigning, far more than I thought I would. With all due respect, I think I was pretty good at it. I enjoyed dealing with people, I enjoyed hearing about their issues. I missed radio far less than I thought I would. I'm somebody who is interested in politics, interested in politicians, and I never was before, I never, ever thought that I would be the front runner - as you know, I was right away, and my lead only got bigger and bigger. The last time I ran for office was 3rd grade class president, and I carried three out of four rows, so for somebody who was the rookie, I did pretty well, and I really did enjoy it. So I'm not closing the door on what might happen down the road…"
THE ISSUE IS: THE ELDER FOR AMERICA PAC
ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's a Political Action Committee. I'm asking people to throw a little something in the tip jar to raise money so I could campaign for, and help support financially candidates, particularly those who are in tough districts, so that the Republicans can take back the House and take back the Senate. And also, as you know, a lot of stuff is happening at the school board level - we're having all of this nonsense about critical race theory. I want to do something to make sure that doesn't happen. And I want to support school choice, so the money follows the child rather than the other way around. Half of all 3rd graders in California cannot read at state levels of proficiency. It is absolutely outrageous. As you know, the Chicago Teachers Union just voted 72% not to go back to in-person education. I looked at the test scores for the Chicago kids, before the pandemic only 34% of the other 3rd graders in Chicago public school system could read at state levels. Now it's 18%, having lost a whole year of in-person education in 2020. And they want to do it again for 2022. It's outrageous. I want to do something about that…"
THE ISSUE IS: COULD A REPUBLICAN EVEN BE ELECTED CA GOVERNOR RIGHT NOW?
ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The electoral battlefield in California is daunting.. It's not impossible, otherwise, I wouldn't have tried it, but a recall election is very different than a general one-to-one election... The state has got to hit, what I call, rock bottom, and little by little, we're getting there. Crime has gone up since I ran. The homelessness problem has not been solved since I ran. Many people have watched the quality of education, because they've been able to see how their kids were being taught because of the virtual learning, and a growing number of people now want school choice, which was a big issue that I campaigned for. But I don't think California's hit rock bottom quite yet, so that some of the Democrats and independents are going to rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party. At least not just yet…"
THE ISSUE IS: CALIFORNIA’S COVID RESTRICTIONS
ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "If I were in charge, I would not have a mandate for vaccines. I would not have a mandate for masks. I would let individual municipalities and individual businesses determine what they want to do, which is what I said during the campaign, and I was called anti-vax. I've been vaccinated. I've had the boosters. I believe in vaccines, particularly for those in high risk categories... Now, a growing number of epidemiologists believe that closing down the state was a bad idea, closing down schools was a bad idea, even Joe Biden now says closing down schools is a bad idea, so a growing number of people, I believe, are coming around to the same idea that I had before, which is this is a very, very serious pandemic, but let's not make the cure worse than the disease. Let's not increase suicide. Let's not increase homicides. Let's not increase depression. Let's not increase opioid addiction. And these are the things that have happened as a result of the lockdowns and the mandates that this Governor has foisted down the throats of Californians…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.
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