Without ever mentioning the president by name, Democrat Gavin Newsom on Tuesday night declared his election as California governor a rebuke of President Donald Trump.
“It’s been a tough two years, but tonight, America’s biggest state is making the biggest statement in America: We are saying unmistakably and in unison that it’s time to roll the credits on the politics of chaos and the politics of cruelty,” Newsom said in a speech at his victory party in downtown Los Angeles. “Now is the time for decency, for facts, for trust, and now is the time for truth,” he said.
“And to those agents of anger determined to divide us instead of unite us, it’s time to pack it up and for you to pack it in.”
On the campaign trail, Newsom frequently portrayed his race against Republican John Cox as a referendum on “Trump and Trumpism.”
Cox was endorsed by Trump in May, though Newsom rarely mentioned his own opponent by name, rather running symbolically against the president, who has dismal approval ratings in California.
His remarks Tuesday night were light on policy. Newsom, who has emphasized housing affordability, universal health care and early childhood education as major priorities, instead tried to place his victory as another step in the state’s, and the world’s, march toward the future.
“The sun is rising in the west, and the arc of history is bending in our direction. Because this is not just a state of resistance. California is a state of results,” Newsom said. “It’s about advancing all Californians on their journey, by making this a place of equality, making California a place of opportunity, safety and affordability for everyone.”
He couldn’t resist several pointed jabs at Trump, however, particularly on immigration. In his closing remarks, Newsom reflected on an undocumented student at the University of California as an emblem of the state’s promise for even its most vulnerable residents.
“We don’t demean, we don’t discriminate and we don’t demoralize. We don’t separate families and we don’t lock kids in cages,” Newsom said. “There’s a reason why California’s dream is America’s leading brand.”
Introducing her husband, Jennifer Siebel Newsom also offered a few words in Spanish.
“Nada puede separarnos de nuestra humanidad en común, porque estamos en esto juntos,” Siebel Newsom said. “We are in this together, and together we will rise.”