California's recall circus begins with challenger saying he's the 'beast' to Newsom's 'beauty' -- alongside live bear
May 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Republican California gubernatorial candidate John Cox greets a 1,000 pound bear at the start of a campaign rally at Miller Regional Park on May 04, 2021 in Sacramento, California. Republican candidate for California governor John Cox kicked off his campaign with a press event that featured a live 1,000 pound bear. He will continue his bus tour across California over the next few days. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Republican candidates challenging California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom have struggled to capture voters' attention as the state gears up for an all-but-certain recall election this year. So businessman John Cox switched up the script Tuesday by introducing himself as "the beast" to Newsom's "beauty" alongside a live Kodiak bear at a Sacramento campaign event.
Los Angeles (CNN)The Republican candidates challenging California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom have struggled to capture voters' attention as the state gears up for an all-but-certain recall election this year.
The emergence of the 1,000-pound real-life bear, which sniffed the pavement and lumbered around behind Cox while he outlined his rationale for recalling Newsom at the start of a three-day bus tour, lent credence to the argument by the governor's allies that the recall effort is quickly turning into a political circus that could ultimately draw more than a hundred potential candidates, just like the 2003 recall, when California voters ousted Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In addition to Cox, who lost to Newsom by more than 20 points in 2018, the Democratic governor is being challenged on the Republican side by former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former Olympian and reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner, who released a three-minute campaign video Tuesday introducing herself as a "compassionate disrupter" who could help the state reclaim its "true identity, to bring back the gold to the Golden State. "
To punctuate that point, Cox's second campaign stop on Tuesday was at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, the restaurant where Newsom attended the November birthday dinner of a lobbyist when he was urging the state's residents to avoid gatherings and not to socialize with people outside their own households.
Responding to Cox's "pretty boy" comment during a Tuesday news conference, Newsom said the Republican-backed recall is being fueled by "anti-science" supporters of former President Donald Trump who would roll back California's progressive values.
"Now is not the time to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a recall effort that is nothing more than a partisan power grab," Newsom said at the Tuesday event with members of the California Professional Firefighters union and the International Association of Fire Fighters, who are backing him.