We know he has insults for almost everyone.
Donald Trump and Gavin Newsom? Wha?
Newsom is often public enemy number one for conservatives who believe that the Californian exhibits the worst form of progressivism with policies and politics that are destructive.
Unexpectedly, Trump had on the kid gloves with Newsom – even to the point of singing his praises. Carlson had asked the former president about potential Democrats who could run if President Joe Biden decides not to seek re-election. Trump had this to say about Newsom.
“I used to get along great with him, you know, when I was president. Got along really good,” Donald Trump said to a surprised Carlson. “He was always very nice to me. Said the greatest things. He would say things like, ‘He’s doing a great job,’” Trump said.
Donald Trump and Newsom Form Uneasy Alliance During Pandemic
Indeed, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Newsom mostly refrained from criticizing Trump. In 2020, Newsom admitted that Trump, “sent everything that I could have hoped for,” in reference to Covid assistance.
This was a surprise to one California political observer and expert. “A month ago, Gavin Newsom was the king of anti-Trump — he was the leading foil for Trump — and now they’re bros,” California political analyst David McCuan told Politico in 2020.
Trump continued to praise Newsom during the Carlson interview. “That’s why I never hit him because he was nice to me. Just laying in wait, right? But he was very nice to me – relatively speaking.”
Newsom Brings the Fight to Conservative States
Newsom kicked off his new political action committee that he is funding from left-over campaign dollars. During the inaugural speech heralding this new progressive effort, Newsom said these states are “directly attacking our freedoms” and that he would gladly take on their “authoritarian leadership.”
“What’s happening in those red states?” Newsom asked. “That’s not who we are. It’s un-American. It’s un-democratic.”
Newsom is visiting red states in the south to promote blue state messaging such as the need to expand Medicaid and his desire to restore abortion rights and improve education without banning books, actions that he believes are dangerous over-reach by Republican governors and legislatures.
Newsom has often said that Democrats should take the fight directly to states where the GOP dominates in order to share his message that the California way of governance is to be emulated.
Is This Newsom’s One Big Campaign for President?
Newsom says he has no plans to do so and denies he would run in a primary against the president.
However, the Californian would surely be interested in running for the White House in 2028, which explains why he is attempting to raise his national profile in Republican areas.
There is a common debate in electoral politics. Do you focus on friendly areas where the votes are? Or do you attempt to expand your political base in somewhat hostile areas where people have never met you? Newsom is choosing the latter strategy. He thinks that all voters are a little bit liberal and have been put off by Trump’s divisiveness, his recent indictment and arraignment, and the extreme nature of Trump’s core MAGA supporters.
Newsom is certainly popular in California. He recently hit a high water mark, with 58 percent of California voters approving of his job performance in a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. He hopes to build on that approval and transfer his appeal to other locales. Although encouraging red-state Republican voters to support him may be a bridge too far, Newsom’s name is being mentioned repeatedly in the media to increase his name recognition, likely driving this new strategy.
Donald Trump may wish to turn his sights back on Newsom and start insulting the governor or giving him a nickname as he does with other rivals, or Newsom could grow in popularity.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.