President Donald Trump mocked California’s Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom from the stage at a rally in Billings, Montana, on Thursday evening, noting that his twin policies of open borders and free health care for illegal aliens were absurd together.
Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, is now running for governor in the November elections. He has embraced the “single payer” or “Medicare for all” policy currently in vogue among “progressives” — though he has no plan to pay for it.
How about the governor, the governorship of California? He just announced that he wants to open borders, and he wants to let anybody come in that wants to. And then he wants to pay for all medical, for all school. What happens, I said, if the entire world decides to go to California because they get free health care, free medical care, and free education? “California has just increased in size to 500 million people.” …California — think of it. He says “I want to open the border, I want everyone to come in. At the same time, for illegal aliens, for illegal immigrants — a lot of different names — he wants to get rid of ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement], he wants to cut down on law enforcement, and he wants to pay for their medical, their health care, and their education. But I really asked — look, it’s all about common sense. I think I won because of common sense … But I said to myself, it’s just common sense. Everyone’s going to come in. I may even move to California to get free health care! I may move there!
Newsom responded on Twitter, accusing the president of lacking the courage to address him by name:
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 7, 2018
Notably, Newsom did not defend his policy. In the past, Newsom has noted that he created a universal health insurance plan within the city of San Francisco — though, as critics point out, the city is the richest metropolitan area in the U.S., and the local model would not scale up well to the state as a whole.
Last year, California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) refused to allow a vote on a single-payer health care bill that had passed the State Senate because there was no plan to pay for the policy, which was estimated to cost $400 billion per year — twice the current state budget.
Newsom is running against Republican businessman John Cox.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.