California Gov. Newsom launches first major ad blitz in bid to survive recall

Newsom’s new ads say he ‘has California roaring back’ and ‘right-wing Republicans’ behind recall

Embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom of California is going up with his first major broadcast TV and digital ad campaign as he fights the recall effort to oust him from office.

The "Campaign to Stop the Republican Recall," a committee set up by the Democratic governor in March, announced on Thursday that it is releasing three new commercials – including one in Spanish – that highlight Newsom’s efforts to energize California as the coronavirus pandemic recedes and charge that "Trump Republicans" and "right-wing Republicans" are behind the recall push to remove him from office.

CALIFORNIA GOP GUBERNATORIAL CONTENDER - IN NEW AD - CHARGES ‘NEWSOM HAS FAILED US’ 

"Gov. Gavin Newsom has California roaring back," the announcer in one of the spots emphasizes. "Newsom is delivering money to your pocket. Plus an extra 500 bucks for families with kids – $4 billion straight to small businesses through the nation’s largest grant program – cleaning up our streets and getting 65,000 homeless Californians into housing – and free pre-K for every California child, regardless of income."

The announcer in a second spot charges that "the same Trump Republicans who refused to accept the presidential election are back, passing voter suppression laws across the country. Now they’ve set their sights on California, wasting hundreds of millions of our tax dollars abusing the process to recall Gov. Newsom."

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A Newsom political adviser told Fox News that a multimillion-dollar ad buy is backing up the statewide campaign, with the commercials all being cycled in over the next few days.

The recall push was launched a year ago over charges the governor mishandled the state's response to the pandemic. The effort was fueled by the state's COVID restrictions on businesses and houses of worship, school shutdowns and even opposition to the state's high taxes. But the effort surged last autumn after Newsom's dinner at an uber-exclusive restaurant that – at best – skirted rules imposed by the governor to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Republicans see the recall election as their best chance to topple a politician who has never lost an election during his years as San Francisco mayor, California lieutenant governor and now governor – and their first chance to win a statewide contest since the 2006 gubernatorial reelection victory by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a moderate Republican. 

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The recall election could be held as early as late summer.

Two of the leading Republican gubernatorial candidates in the recall election – businessman and 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer – have already gone up with statewide ad campaigns. The two other GOP candidates considered major contenders – former Rep. Doug Ose and Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete turned transgender rights activist and nationally known TV personality – have yet to launch statewide paid ad campaigns.