SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gavin Newsom is fed up with Republicans for attacking abortion rights and blocking gun regulations — and with his own Democratic Party for failing to boldly and brashly take on the conservative right and push a progressive agenda.
And as California’s first-term governor positions himself as the national Democratic Party pit bull, no other issue is defining his political rise like health care.
“Where the hell is my party?” Newsom fumed in May as it became clear that the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. “Why aren’t we standing up more firmly?” He later took out a television ad accusing Florida’s Republican leaders of “criminalizing women and doctors.”
Over the past year, Newsom has lobbed multiple attacks against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible presidential candidate, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — both Republicans — for their positions on guns and abortion. He has taken to national TV and social media to dub California an abortion sanctuary state that welcomes women from around the country — and is boasting about a November ballot initiative that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution. And he’s framing gun violence as a public health crisis, saying that Democrats need to more aggressively challenge Republicans to enact sweeping gun safety laws.
pic.twitter.com/dvyPy6SH38— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 22, 2022
“It’s time to put them on the defense — we’re sick and tired of being on the defense,” Newsom said in late July as he signed a law that allows Californians to sue gun-makers for negligence, a law modeled after a Texas law allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers or those who help women seeking an abortion.
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, is also hitting the airwaves to tout his health care accomplishments. He is crowing about expanding health care coverage to millions of previously uninsu …