Gavin Newsom Attacks ‘Delusional California Bashers’ in Fiery Speech

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 26, 2024

Gavin Newsom addressed “delusional California bashers” in his State of the State speech, emphasizing the unique and spirited nature of California. 

He highlighted the state’s contributions to culture, mentioning Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, blue jeans, and Barbie as products of California’s “weird, wild, and free-spirited” identity. Newsom’s speech aimed to defend California against its critics.

Newsom's Role as a Political Surrogate

Following his State of the State address, Gavin Newsom prepared to travel to Atlanta for the first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. 

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Governor Gavin Newsom embracing President Joe Biden in a friendly manner near a black SUV

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In this debate, he will act as a media surrogate for President Biden. Newsom’s involvement illustrates his role in the national political arena, supporting the 81-year-old president’s campaign.

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Historical Comparisons in Modern Politics

In his speech, Newsom compared the current political climate to the rise of fascism before World War II. 

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Close-up of Donald Trump speaking with a fierce expression

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He described Donald Trump’s Republican Party as reminiscent of that era, warning of “the poisonous populism of the right.” Newsom’s remarks highlighted the importance of Democratic ideals as a countermeasure to these trends, drawing historical parallels to emphasize his point.

California's Diverse Political Leadership

Newsom praised California’s history of electing diverse leaders, from Ronald Reagan to Jerry Brown. He noted the state’s ability to produce influential musicians like Metallica and Kendrick Lamar and inspire popular films like Barbie. 

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Metallica performing live on stage with enthusiastic fans in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This diversity, according to Newsom, showcases California’s broad ideological spectrum and its role as a cultural and political innovator.

Adapting to Digital Communication

In a departure from tradition, Newsom delivered his State of the State address via social media rather than a live speech. This move was intended to cater to a digital audience. 

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Governor Gavin Newsom delivering the 2024 State of the State address, standing in front of the California and American flags

Source: CAgovernor/X

Newsom, who has dyslexia, finds formal speeches challenging. Last year, he skipped the speech entirely, opting for a statewide tour to discuss policy proposals in a more informal setting.

Directly Addressing State Challenges

Despite the non-traditional format, Newsom tackled significant issues in his address. He discussed California’s debt and defended the state’s innovative spirit. 

Golden Gate Bridge viewed at sunset with rocky beach in the foreground and hills in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Newsom emphasized the importance of addressing problems directly and highlighted his administration’s efforts to manage the state’s challenges effectively, aiming to provide a clear and honest update to the public.

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Republican Rebuttal on State Address

Shortly after Newsom’s speech was posted on social media, Republicans delivered their response at the state Capitol. 

A young man smiling in a formal blue suit, standing in front of American and California flags

Source: Wikimedia Commons

They criticized Newsom for not giving a live public speech. James Gallagher, the Republican leader of the state Assembly, called Newsom “defensive” and “unhinged,” accusing him of being “tone deaf” to the struggles of Californians.

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Mandated State Update Tradition

The California Constitution requires the governor to update the Legislature annually on the state’s condition. This tradition, which began with written letters before World War II, evolved into formal speeches with Governor Earl Warren. 

ack and white photo of Governor Earl Warren in glasses delivering a speech at a podium with microphones in front of a crowd

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Newsom continued this tradition but chose a digital format for his latest address, reflecting changes in how leaders communicate with the public.

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Trump's Rhetoric as a Warning

Newsom used some of Donald Trump’s controversial statements to warn against dangerous rhetoric.

Former President Donald Trump speaking at a podium with a microphone, surrounded by a crowd of supporters wearing red hats

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He compared Trump’s comments about immigrants to language used by fascists in 1939, stating, “When they speak of immigrants poisoning American blood…this is the language of destruction – of 1939.” Newsom’s speech aimed to highlight the potential consequences of such rhetoric.

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Countering Mismanagement Critiques

Republicans have criticized California’s management under Newsom, pointing to the state’s budget deficit, high taxes, and homelessness issues. 

A street corner showing a makeshift homeless encampment with tents and tarps next to a bike lane sign and traffic lights

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Newsom responded by highlighting California’s economic contributions and innovations. He referred to “delusional California bashers” whose “success depends on our failure,” emphasizing the state’s ongoing efforts to address its challenges and maintain its leadership.

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Enhancing Public Safety Measures

Newsom discussed efforts to improve public safety, including deploying additional highway patrol officers and tackling professional theft rings. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking passionately at a podium in a darkened room, wearing a dark suit and white shirt

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He noted that California’s violent crime rate is about half of what it was in 1992. Newsom stated, “This is because in California, we take public safety seriously. We take it as a problem to solve, not just to flog on cable news.”

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Economic Achievements and Population Challenges

Newsom defended California’s economic achievements, noting that if it were an independent country, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy. 

Governor Gavin Newsom smiling outdoors, wearing a dark blue suit and white shirt, with hills in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He cited the addition of 63,000 new millionaires since 2019. However, he also acknowledged the state’s population decline, attributed to factors like high living costs and the pandemic. Newsom emphasized California’s continued economic strength and innovation.

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