California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder vowed to repeal mask and vaccine mandates in the state if he is elected the governor of California. Gavin Newsom, the current governor of California, has gone on the offensive against Elder by claiming he is more right-wing than former President Donald Trump.
Elder spoke on Thursday afternoon to a packed crowd at Calvary Church in San Jose, where he promised to ban mask and vaccine mandates.
"This man that I'm going to defeat on September 14, he shut down the state in the most severe way than any of the other 49 governors have," Elder said of Newsom. "When I get elected, assuming there are still facemask mandates and vaccine mandates, they will be repealed right away and then I'll break for breakfast."
"At the state level, I'm not going to require any kind of public worker to wear masks, any kind of public worker to have a vaccine. I think that's an assault on freedom," Elder said at a press conference on Friday.
"I believe vaccines work and I believe that if you're in a high-risk category, you should be vaccinated," the Republican candidate continued. "But there are many Americans who disagree with me, feel that the vaccine was done too quickly."
Elder also took aim at Newsom's "hypocrisy," notably the Democratic governor dining at swanky California restaurant French Laundry in Novemer while not wearing face masks or social distancing with his guests.
Earlier this month, Elder hammered Newsom for dining at "one of the most elite restaurants in the world" during California's coronavirus lockdowns in late 2020.
"By the way, had anybody ever heard of the French Laundry? I looked it up. I thought it was one of the most elite restaurants in California; it's not. I thought it was the most elite restaurant in America; it's not," Elder said, according to the Daily Wire. "It's one of the most elite restaurants in the world."
"He's incurred a $12,000 wine tab, that's just for the wine," Elder said. "What's in the wine? What happened to the wine, a TV set? What's in there? And he was sitting with the very same lobbyists and medical professionals who drafted the mandates they were violating by not wearing masks and not socially distancing. It's the hypocrisy."
In a recent interview with the San Diego Tribune, Elder slammed Newsom's hypocrisy yet again — this time for sending his children to private school as the governor forbid in-person learning for thousands of other children.
"Newsom had his kids in private schools throughout the pandemic, while all public schools in Sacramento County remained closed," Elder said.
Elder claimed that Newsom pushes for electric automobile, but his early political career was helped by one of the richest oil families.
"Newsom's business and political career were launched with the help of the Getty family's oil inheritance," Elder told the paper. "There was no hesitation on the part of the governor about carbon emissions, fossil fuels and public health. After using actual petrol dollars to amass a fortune, he has decided to slam the door behind him. This is but another example of Gavin Newsom's hypocrisy. May I suggest another option? Elect me, and I won't concern myself with what kind of car you drive."
A 2018 Los Angeles Times article stated that Newsom "built some of those businesses with the Gettys, heirs to an oil fortune who have deep connections to the Democratic lieutenant governor's family."
"If elected, I will govern as a governor, not as a tyrant," Elder proclaimed.
On Friday, Newsom attacked Elder by saying he is more right-wing than Trump, according to KGO-TV.
"He's to the right of Donald Trump. To the right of Donald Trump," Newsom said without providing details. "That's what's at stake in this election and don't think for a second you can't do damage in that role. Think about the judges he could appoint. Who would he have appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate? How would that impact the trajectory of this country. What would this mean for the future of the Democratic party in our efforts to keep the House of Representatives."
There are a whopping 46 gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Newsom. On Aug. 4, SurveyUSA released its latest poll for KABC-TV, KGTV, and the San Diego Tribune, which revealed that 51% of likely voters in California's upcoming gubernatorial recall election would vote to recall Newsom, while 40% said they would not vote to remove the incumbent governor.
Elder is the second-most popular candidate in the poll at 23%, trailing Democrat Kevin Paffrath, who is at 27%. Elder does have a solid lead on Paffrath when it comes to independent voters — 27% to 19%.
Californians will start to receive ballots next week for the gubernatorial recall election, which will be held on Sept. 14.