Trump’s autoworker rally? So what, says California’s Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said he isn’t worried that former President Donald Trump will swipe working-class voters from Democrats by skipping the second GOP presidential debate Wednesday and rallying with striking autoworkers.
Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, said President Biden will beat the former president to the punch by walking the picket line Tuesday and has a superior record on union rights.
“This is purely performative — a similar version, just trying to get some attention, like he did on Tucker Carlson,” Mr. Newsom said on a Democratic National Committee media call, referring to Mr. Trump’s online interview with the conservative host during the first GOP debate on Aug. 23. “I think there will be no inroads whatsoever.”
Mr. Trump is heading to Michigan while Republican candidates take the stage Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have qualified for the second debate.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appeared to make the cut in recent days, though the lineup won’t be official until the Republican National Committee confirms it.
Democrats are trying to make the debate a referendum on MAGAnomics, which they decry as tax cuts and benefits for the wealthy, versus Bidenomics, which they bill as a winner for working-class Americans through lower costs and government benefits.
Mr. Newsom and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hammered on the contrast Monday in a pre-buttal to the GOP debate.
“MAGAnomics is all about benefiting the ultrawealthy and leaving America’s middle class behind,” said Mrs. Pelosi, a California Democrat who remains in Congress.
Mrs. Pelosi warned that major GOP candidates want to repeal Mr. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a 2022 law that let Medicare negotiate down drug prices and included unprecedented funding for climate-related projects.
“This is legislation that is historic in terms of saving the planet for our children,” Mrs. Pelosi said.
Mr. Newsom has tangled with Mr. DeSantis and other top Republicans, prompting theories he would challenge Mr. Biden on the Democratic side or serve as a stand-in if the elderly president decides not to run again.
The California governor instead is positioning himself as a leading champion of Mr. Biden’s 2024 bid.
“I think we need to move past this notion that he’s not going to run,” Mr. Newsom said this month on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He also said Vice President Kamala Harris is “naturally the one lined up.”
Mr. Newsom on Monday accused the GOP of carrying out a “cultural purge,” citing scrutiny of books and curriculum across America, and said Republicans are retreating to a “pre-1960s world” by restricting abortion access and scrutinizing other rights.
The governor even agreed to a 90-minute debate with Mr. DeSantis moderated by Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Nov. 30 in Georgia, the cable network said Monday.