During the weekend, Senate Democrats and other high level members of the Democratic Party denounced claims by California Governor Gavin Newsom made last week that the Democratic Party is getting “crushed on narrative” this election, showing further fracturing of the party only days before the election.
Last week, Gov. Newsom gave an interview with CBS, where he both denied being interested in a future presidential run and noted the current state of where the Democrats stand against the Republicans, as well as his main frustration against the party.
“It goes to my fundamental grievance with my damn party,” said Newsom last week. “We’re getting crushed on narrative. We’re going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense.”
“Yeah it [feels like a red wave is coming]. I’m not paid to say that. Fate and few, I get it. I can be the cheerleader, but I’m also a pragmatist. You feel it. [Kevin McCarthy as leader of the House] fills me with, I don’t want to say it out loud, but fear. What he’s done to aid and abet this notion? The big lie? How he’s aiding and abetting functionally authoritarian leaders across his party? Yeah, it scares the hell out of me.”
However, Democrats quickly quarreled with that statement, in particular pointing out that Newsom is in a safe election in a blue state, while other candidates across the nation are in much tighter elections where narrative is playing a big part of the respective races. Democratic leaders also noted that many key races are close, and they are not being “crushed.”
“You know what? He’s out there in California right now, and I am out here and been all over Ohio with Tim Ryan, in Pennsylvania with John Fetterman, with Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and Cheri Beasley in North Carolina,” Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said in a CNN interview on Sunday in response to the statement. “I think either we are ahead in these races or we are in striking distance. We’re going to win these races. So he can talk about all he wants out there. I am in the middle of it.”
“I’m not going to at one moment concede this race because [Democratic candidates have] been ahead every step of the way. First of all, I’m not going back over past strategy right now two days before the election. I’m not a big fan of spending money on other candidates and messing around. I will admit that, and I’ve said that.”
Other Democratic House candidates outside of California have also called out the Governor for only placing ads earlier this year and not coming to either personally campaign for them or endorse them.
Newsom comments come only days before election
“Outside of California, Newsom has been pretty spotty on support,” explained Amanda Fischer, a Midwest-based media consultant for House candidates in the last 10 House elections, to the Globe on Monday. “He had those ads going against abortion and things like that, but that was issues, not candidates. He’s been saying that the GOP is beating us on narrative, but look. He’s not helping create any. I think he was trying to make a narrative about abortion and LGBT rights, but again, those are just broader issues, while candidates need more tailored narrative to win individual races. And I don’t think he gets that. A national conversation is important to control, but wins ultimately come locally.”
Others noted that Democrats were dived on his remarks, further fracturing the party only days before the election.
“What a time for Newsom to run his mouth off,” Michael Springer, an elections analyst in Washington who focuses on presidential primaries, told the Globe Monday. “You need party unity going into the final stretch. You know, put past differences aside and vote for this candidate, or in the case of the mid-terms here, all of these candidates. But Newsom has the top Democratic brass now arguing with each other publicly.”
“The GOP has been staying pretty firm. You have big MAGA people sticking by moderate candidates and vice versa within their party. Look at all the GOP House candidates in California. Or Oz out in PA. Republicans are sticking together, even if there are disagreements internally. But then you have Newsom bringing up narrative and have Senators denouncing what he said on cable TV. It’s not a good look for them, especially this close to election day.”
As of Monday, Newsom has yet to respond to the comments made by other major party members.
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