Califorina Gov. Gavin Newsom attacked conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder on Thursday during a Zoom call with campaign volunteers, targeting the candidate who is the leading contender to replace Newsom in many polls.
Newsom’s attack acknowledges Elder, a popular figure who has never run for public office before, as the leading threat to his tenure. Several recent polls show voters increasingly prepared to recall Newsom; the most recent showed a majority of likely California voters were prepared to remove Newsom from office — a reversal from earlier this year.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday attacked the Republican topping the field of candidates trying to replace him in the September recall election, calling conservative talk show host Larry Elder a climate change denier who would restrict abortion rights and end the minimum wage if elected.
For months Newsom has criticized the recall effort as the handiwork of far-right supporters of former President Trump and a Republican Party intent on undermining his election in 2018, shying away from personal attacks on the candidates hoping to take his place in Sacramento.
But in a Zoom call with volunteers working on his anti-recall campaign, Newsom hit out at Elder, calling him a major Trump supporter — a rallying cry in a state won overwhelmingly by President Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Newsom also accused Elder of being a threat to abortion rights established under the landmark Roe vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973.
Many of Newsom’s attacks are inaccurate. Elder is not a climate change “denier,” for example, but opposes the climate change “alarmism” that predicts doom for the world unless drastic changes are made to the U.S. economy. The San Jose Mercury-News recently reported on Elder’s views on climate and wildfires:
Elder said he believes climate change is occurring and that humans are a factor, but the extent to which people are to blame “is debatable.” He asked why former President Barack Obama purchased a $12 million home near the ocean on Martha’s Vineyard if there is so much concern about rising oceans. Elder said there are ways of dealing with climate change “without force feeding renewable energy schemes down the throats of taxpayers.” Asked about wildfires, which science says are being fueled by climate change, he said he believes a larger problem is people building homes in wildfire-prone areas and insurers being prevented from dramatically raising premiums. He said forests need to be managed better, with more removal of dry vegetation, and blamed Newsom for misleading voters about the amount of fire prevention work taking place.