ORLANDO, Florida – House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., remarked on the state of the recall effort against California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom as well as how the left has targeted San Joaquin Valley agriculture as a "guinea pig" for enacting onerous environmental regulations nationwide in remarks he gave at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday.
Nunes was featured in a discussion moderated by Trent England of Save Our States, an organization that seeks to protect the Electoral College.
The Tulare lawmaker said there are essentially two questions on the upcoming recall ballot: Should Newsom be recalled, and for voters who answer in the affirmative, who should replace him as governor?
Nunes said the candidates in the second question are not divided by party, in that anyone can run to replace the embattled Democrat, who has come under fire for coronavirus lockdown measures that have hurt the businesses in the state.
The governor also drew bipartisan ire when he was spotted dining indoors at The French Laundry in Yountville -- one of the most expensive restaurants in the state -- during a state-imposed indoor dining ban.
"Newsom can't be on the ballot," Nunes told England at the conference. "We have to rally around one candidate."
He explained that the turning point for whether Newsom is likely to lose his recall vote will be when, if at all, a member of his own party joins the list of candidates seeking to replace him; the suggestion being that Democrats would not want to have to choose between a batch of Republicans and independents and would be likely to side with the incumbent.
"The thing to watch for is when the left starts eating their own," Nunes said at CPAC. "As soon as a prominent Democrat announces that they're going to run, that's when it will probably slide and Newsom will have a good chance of actually being recalled."
The California Democrats, he said, "take a big risk" if they decide against having a prominent Democrat in the stack of potential replacement candidates.
Nunes went on to suggest that the recall election would likely fall sometime in the fall of this year.
To date, two U.S. governors have been successfully recalled from office: former California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis -- who notably was replaced by actor-turned-Republican politician Arnold Schwarzenegger -- in 2003, and North Dakota Republican Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.
Fox Nation is a sponsor of CPAC 2021.