Gavin Newsom Warns Trumpism is Not Dead in Speech After Landslide Recall Victory

Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom celebrated surviving the effort to recall him on Tuesday, while warning against the continued presence of "Trumpism."

Newsom slammed pre-emptive allegations that the recall election would be marred by voter fraud from former President Donald Trump and the leading Republican replacement candidate Larry Elder. Multiple news outlets projected that the recall had been defeated within an hour of polls closing after results showed the "no" vote leading by a comfortable double-digit margin.

"I think about just in the last few days the former president [was] saying this election was rigged," Newsom said. "Democracy is not a football. You don't throw it around. It's more like, I don't know, an antique vase. You can drop it and smash it into a million different pieces. And that's what we're capable of doing if we don't stand up to meet the moment and push back."

"I said this many, many times on the campaign trail: we may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country," he continued. "The big lie, the January 6 insurrection, all the voting suppression efforts that are happening all across this country... the assault on the fundamental rights, constitutionally protected rights, of women and girls. It's a remarkable moment in our nation's history."

gavin newsom speech trumpism recall winner
Gov. Gavin Newsom, shown here at a Monday campaign event, is the projected winner of the California recall election. David McNew/Getty

In the days preceding the election, both Trump and Elder suggested that anything other than a Republican victory would be an indication that massive voter fraud was at play in California, a heavily-Democratic state that the former president lost to President Joe Biden by almost 30 points in 2020.

Elder, a supporter of Trump's false claims that fraud played a role in the 2020 results, refused to say whether he would accept the recall election results before the ballots had been counted, while his campaign assembled a legal team poised to challenge the results and had already posted allegations of fraud online.

Newsom and his allies repeatedly evoked Trump during the campaign, insisting that the recall was a thinly-veiled effort to impose the politics of the former president in place where a Republican candidate had not won statewide office since 2006. The election would have allowed a replacement candidate to become governor while having nowhere near the support of the majority.

After surviving the recall, Newsom insisted that his victory represented an embrace of values that Californians "hold dear," arguing that the recall defeat meant that the voters were saying "yes" to science, vaccines, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice, the right to vote and abortion rights.

"I'm humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote and express themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division, by rejecting the citizen, by rejecting so much of the negativity that's defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years," said the governor.

Newsweek reached out to the office of Trump and the Elder campaign for comment.