Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom taunted President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one day after finishing first in the California primary for governor, daring him to campaign in the state for Republican rival John Cox.
Cox surprised political observers by finishing a strong second to Newsom in Tuesday’s primary, earning the right to face Newsom in the general election in November.
In his victory speech, Newsom said that voters now faced a clear choice between a candidate who would defend California from the Trump administration, and one who was a “foot soldier” in Trump’s war against the Golden State.
True to his campaign strategy of attacking Trump, Newsom mocked Trump’s congratulatory messages to Cox:
Please come campaign for him as much as possible. https://t.co/82iQN3shg6
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 6, 2018
Newson may hope to drive Democratic turnout by focusing on Trump. But Trump’s support certainly helped Cox qualify for the general election — and Cox’s presence on the ballot will likely boost Republican turnout in key congressional races.
Trump also added later that Democrats should be “easy to beat” in 2018 with the right message and effort:
Many more Republican voters showed up yesterday than the Fake News thought possible. The political pundits just don’t get what is going on out there – or they do get it but refuse to report the facts! Remember, Dems are High Tax, High Crime, easy to beat!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018
Despite Democratic woes in California and elsewhere, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) told Politico on Wednesday that Democrats could take the Senate — a view shared by few observers.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.