"The idea that they're trying to characterize my campaign as some sort of extension of you know who is unfair to me," Elder said. "I am an insurgent candidacy - 2.2 million Californians signed the recall petition. A quarter of them were Independents and Democrats who voted for the man just two years earlier."
Elder, who has never held public office, says he thought California was ungovernable because of how many Democrats serve in the legislature, but once he read up on veto power, how rare it is for the legislature to override a veto, Elder jumped in.
"For somebody who's been a professional politician for all of two weeks, I'm feeling pretty darn good," Elder said. "I have a substantial lead over my opponents, according to most of the polls I've seen, and I've just gotten started. We haven't had a single TV ad, a single radio, print ad so far."
On Tuesday, the 69-year-old told the Sacramento Bee he's in favor of not having a minimum wage.
"That question came up about the minimum wage, and I said the ideal minimum wage is $0.00," he said. "I have no intention of getting rid of the minimum wage. I'm going to work on crime. I'm going to work on homelessness. I'm going to work on the rising cost of living, and to the extent that mandates regarding face masks and vaccines are enforced, I'm going to eliminate those."
Elder says he's vaccinated and encourages others to get the vaccine, but says it's a personal choice. Black and brown communities in California have been hardest hit by the pandemic, but Elder doesn't see what coronavirus has exposed as an issue of race, but as an issue of class.
"A lot of people bring up systemic racism since I've been campaigning, and I find it really bizarre. America has never been less racist than now," said Elder.
Larry Elder has greater name recognition than the other Republicans in the race, besides Caitlyn Jenner. Elder's radio show, which he had to put on pause when he entered the race, has been nationally syndicated for nearly 20 years. On homelessness, the lifelong Californian would remove environmental regulations to build housing more quickly and enlist law enforcement to move the homeless off the streets.
"The authorities, police officers, sheriff's officers, sheriff's deputies, that's what they're there for, to enforce the law... Housing will exist because we don't do this until the housing exists," Elder said.