Gavin Newsom says he would run California as 'positive alternative to Trump'

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Saturday, August 18, 2018
Gavin Newsom says he would run CA as 'positive alternative to Trump'
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California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom says to Eyewitness News the contrast between him and Republican candidate John Cox couldn't be greater.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- President Donald Trump has gone after California's policies on sanctuary cities, social issues, even how the state fights fires. Democratic voters want to know if Gavin Newsom would fight to keep progressive policies in place if elected as California governor.

"I'm running, yes, to be the head of the resistance, but also perhaps more importantly, to run a state as a positive alternative to Trump and Trumpism," Newsom said.

We're less than three months from deciding who the next California governor will be and Newsom tells Eyewitness News the contrast between him and Republican John Cox couldn't be greater.

"Even by relatively moderate positions in the Republican party in California, he's on the extreme of those positions," Newsom said. "He can't run away from Trump. In fact, he parroted Trump verbatim on the children separation issues on the border."

Newsom leads Cox by 24 points in a poll from the Public Policy Institute of California released three weeks ago. His campaign is making a big push to help elect California Democrats running for Congress in districts Hillary Clinton won, but are controlled by the GOP.

After Labor Day, the Lt. Governor will even embark on a bus tour to those seven districts, but he says it's not a sign of overconfidence.

"We cannot afford to have a complicit Congress," Newsom said. "We cannot afford these guys to be nowhere to be found as it relates to check and balance on the Trump administration."

John Cox on the other hand has put his resources toward repealing California's gas tax increase, which is on the November ballot.

RELATED: California governor candidate John Cox distances himself from President Trump, says he's his own man

"I'm not worried about it electorally. I'm worried about it substantively," Newsom said when asked if he was worried about the gas tax repeal. "The fact is, California has the worst road conditions in the nation. Long Beach and LA corridors, 60 percent of the roads are in poor condition. They will only get worse."

It's an issue voters would see Newsom and Cox battle over if the two agreed to a debate, but so far that hasn't happened.

"I have no issues debating John," Newsom said. "In fact. I would enjoy it."

Cox was out on the trail this week visiting DMVs in Long Beach and in Sacramento. He's calling for an audit. It's a rare issue where the Republican and Democrat agree.

"I, like you, find it unacceptable what's going on at the DMV. These wait lines are not just because of these new real ID licenses," Newsom said. "It's been a problem for decades. We actually have some ideas. We're not just handing out bottle of water calling for an audit. That's to be a little lazy with all due respect at this stage of the game."

Newsom said the governor's race will be won or lost in Los Angeles county, a place he plans to campaign heavily in the next few months.