National News

‘The World Is Looking to Us,’ Newsom Says

Posted June 1, 2018 9:53 a.m. EDT

With less than a week to go until the California primary, two Democratic candidates for governor — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — are engaged in border-to-border bus trips.

Newsom’s tour took him to a labor hall in Burbank on Wednesday. For those who couldn’t make it, here are some excerpts from his 16-minute speech, condensed and edited for clarity.

“I am of the humble opinion that in an economy as large, with a population as diverse and extraordinary as ours, with the natural instincts to lead, with the ability to redirect existing resources in a more resourceful way, that we could cover every single citizen and every single resident in this state, regardless of income, and provide universal health care. Regardless of pre-existing conditions, your ability to pay, or your immigration status. We can lead the nation in that conversation.

“In so many ways, the world is looking to us. This is California. I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else. Eat your heart out, Texas. California is a special place: a majority-minority state; 27 percent of this state foreign born. The state has brought in 112,000 refugees in the last 15 years: 1,454 Syrian refugees. No other state has taken more Syrian refugees, Mr. Trump. It’s a point of pride.

“There was a guy running for re-election as governor by the name of Pete Wilson. Not too many years ago — 1994. He was out there promoting Prop. 187: Xenophobia, nativism was front and center in our political debate. He was not only promoting his own candidacy for governor, he was on his way to announce his bid to be president of the United States. Pete Wilson wins his re-election walking away. Prop. 187 wins, overwhelmingly.

“But it is a cautionary tale isn’t it — California? Because today’s headlines are about the Republican Party being third-party status in California. Donald Trump, you may want to pay attention to that. Mitch McConnell, you may want to pay attention to that. You guys are walking off the same cliff Pete Wilson walked the Republican Party off of in the state of California in 1994.”