“They’re promoting grievance and victimhood, in an attempt to erase so much of the progress you and I have witnessed in our lifetime,” Newsom told the crowd on Thursday. “They make it harder to vote and easier to buy illegal guns.”
He added, “They silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women, attack the Special Olympics, and even demonize Mickey Mouse.”
Long-dormant authoritarian impulses have been awakened. These politicians prey upon fear.
They silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women, attack the Special Olympics & even demonize Mickey Mouse. They cry freedom while dictating the choices people can make. pic.twitter.com/4iJ3nBfAEp
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 6, 2023
The California Democrat said that red states are “selling regression as progress” but touted his own state as “freedom’s force multiplier.”
He went on to hit those same states as places where there is a “rising tide of oppression.”
In the past year, Newsom has attempted to contrast himself with potential 2024 presidential contenders and Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas. He ripped “small men in big offices” in his inaugural speech, likely a dig at his Republican competition.
“But people are fleeing California in droves while moving to Florida in droves. What kind of ‘dictatorship’ has hundreds of thousands of people clamoring to move there every year?” DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Christina Pushaw clapped back at Newsom in a tweet.
Newsom took aim at the Florida governor in July when he launched a TV attack ad encouraging Floridians to move to California.
In September, Newsom challenged DeSantis to a debate after he suggested the California governor’s “hair gel” was muddling his brain functions in response to the California Democrat calling for a federal investigation into Texas and Florida’s handling of immigrant flights.
“The battle lines, they’re drawn. I’ll say it: Once again, it is time for choosing,” Newsom said in his inauguration address.
He used the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in his speech to continue to demonize Republicans and former President Donald Trump.
“The ugliness that overflowed on Jan. 6, 2021, we know this, was, in fact, decades in the making — fomented by people who have a very different vision of America’s future,” Newsom said.
Newsom easily won reelection in November, despite having faced a Republican-led recall effort in the nation’s largest Democratic stronghold.