Gavin Newsom: ‘Trump Strangled the Sunny Optimism of Reagan’

(Jessica Kourkounis / Getty)
Jessica Kourkounis / Getty

California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom suggested Wednesday that Donald Trump betrayed Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

Trump had, Newsom claimed, replaced the late commander-in-chief’s famous phrase “tear down that wall” with “the cynical bigotry of ‘build that wall.'”

Speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Newsom took aim at Trump’s acceptance speech as the GOP’s official candidate during the Republican National Convention last week, saying “never has a speech been so long with so little substance, so little science, so little humanity, humor or so little hope.”

Reagan has long been held up as the icon for conservatives and the Republican Party’s model candidate; arguably, the GOP has been searching for someone like him since his departure from the world stage.

Newsom said the “GOP has moved its fear mongering fringe to center stage. What Donald Trump presented last week wasn’t political discourse. It wasn’t even political incorrectness. What Trump presented last week was defeatist and retreat-ist.”

Without mentioning Republican billionaire Peter Thiel, who has donated to Newsom’s political campaign in the past, by name, Newsom said that “while it was refreshing to finally see an openly gay man speak at a Republican convention, it doesn’t remove the stain of selecting Mike Pence — America’s most anti-LGBT governor —” as Trump’s vice president.

Newsom, who is a candidate for governor in 2018, is currently pushing a gun-control initiative in the Golden State. Additionally, he is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage and is for the legalization of marijuana for non-medicinal purposes.

“Today’s California is strong and getting stronger,” he said. “It’s a jet-propelled engine of job creation, a home court for creativity around the world. And we’ve done it, not just through innovation. But we’ve done it by inclusion,” Newsom said.

Newsom added, “we can live our fears or we can live our dreams. Hillary Clinton has dedicated her entire life to putting the American dream within reach.” He concluded by saying:

I want you know one thing: that the people in this room, the people across this country believe that you mater. Hillary Clinton believes that you mater. We believe that you belong here. we need you here. We believe that you can be whoever you are and become whatever you want to be. And we’re gonna fight for you. We’re not gonna fight for you not just over the next 100 days, but over the next 100 years. that’s what America is all about. That’s what makes America great.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz