Far-left California Gov. Gavin Newsom ripped "extremists" he said are behind his recall effort, characterizing them as "partisan" supporters of former President Donald Trump who are against face masks and vaccines to combat COVID-19.
What are the details?
"I am not going to take this recall attempt lying down," Newsom declared in a political campaign email, according to National Public Radio. "And let's call it what it is: it's a partisan, Republican recall — backed by the [Republican National Committee], anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic."
The Democratic governor also punched back at the recall effort Monday on Twitter:
I won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall -- but I will fight it. There is too much at stake. Get… https://t.co/9NhCalrp7K— Gavin Newsom (@Gavin Newsom)1615821011.0
"I won't be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall — but I will fight it," he wrote. "There is too much at stake."
Newsom added in the tweet that "getting Californians vaccinated, our economy safely reopened, and our kids back in school are simply too important to risk."
His tweet also pointed to a "Stop the Republican Recall" website, which argues that "Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant" activists are behind the recall efforts as well.
More from NPR:
The governor's remarks come just two days before a deadline to submit the nearly 1.5 million signatures required to trigger a recall election. (The only requirement to get the question on the ballot is to obtain the signatures of 12% of voters in the last election for the office.)
That is a milestone the RecallGavin2020 Committee said it surpassed on Wednesday. In a statement, the group's chairman, Orrin Heatlie said more than 2 million signatures had been collected and "1,871,573 signatures have been pre verified internally through an outside third party vendor."
If the signatures are validated, Californians will likely be asked to vote on keeping or removing Newsom late this year, with a simple majority needed for the recall.
It would be only the second gubernatorial recall in the state's history. But it is the sixth such campaign against Newsom since he was reelected in a landslide victory in 2018. The others have failed to reach the signature threshold.
The outlet also said a group of national Democrats rallied around Newsom, including U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Alex Padilla (Calif.), as well as independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont).
"Right-wing Republicans in CA are trying to recall Gavin Newsom for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID," Sanders said in a statement, NPR reported. "Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California."
Padilla said, "The same Republicans who refused to hold Donald Trump accountable for the deadly insurrection of January 6th are now trying to hold Governor Newsom accountable for the failures of Donald Trump," the outlet added.
More than just the GOP want Newsom out
Ana Kasparian — a far-left co-host of progressive political channel "The Young Turks" — earlier this month said she joined the recall effort: "I'm a native Angeleno, I was born and raised in California, I love my state, I love the people in this state. But it is an absolute wasteland right now. Every freeway bridge is full of people living in tents. There's excrement on our sidewalks. It's unsafe. Crime has gone up. And when it comes to coronavirus, I mean, the fish rots from the head down."