Gavin Newsom: ‘Xenophobia’ Will Make Republicans a ‘Third Party’ within Decade

Gavin Newsom speaks at a campaign stop in San Diego, Calif., November 2, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The GOP will be relegated to “third party” status once its emphasis on “demonizing the other” is made ineffective by demographic changes, California governor Gavin Newsom predicted during a Sunday interview with Axios on HBO.

Newsom, whose Democratic administration has filed more than 50 lawsuits to block the Trump administration’s policy agenda, argued that President Trump’s election confirms Republicans’ commitment to a strategy defined by “toxic masculinity” and “xenophobia,” which will cease to be effective at the national level once white Americans cease to be a demographic majority.

“And here’s the real story,” Newsom said. “The Republican party was walked off a cliff. They’re [facing] third-party status . . . and they don’t even know what’s about to hit them. I honestly am empathetic toward what they are about to experience, which is a profound demise because of their own making. And until you have some courageous Republicans that stand up and actually make an argument for conservatism . . . they are finished.”

Newsom went on to explain that, while he has “deep respect” for the mostly white, rural voters who comprise Trump’s base, he believes they have been misled and are being harmed by the very policies (trade protectionism, tax cuts, immigration restrictionism) that are designed to appeal to them.

“I spent 50 years of my life in rural California in one of the reddest parts of the state,” Newsom said. “I have deep respect for people in rural communities — deep. I just don’t want them to be lied to. I actually care about them. I’m not using them as a pawn.”

“They’re not being respected. They’re being lied to. They’re not connected to any movement. . . . You think Trump cares about them? He’s a sole practitioner,” he added.

Since being elected in January, Newsom has focused on making California a progressive foil for the Trump administration, referring to the state as “the most un-Trump state in America.” Most recently, that effort manifested in the Newsom administration’s 2020 state budget, which includes $98 million in new annual spending to make some 90,000 previously uninsured illegal immigrants eligible for the state’s Medicaid program.

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