Democrat Gavin Newsom, the top vote-getter in California’s gubernatorial primary, taunted President Trump on Twitter on Wednesday, urging him to come to the Golden State to campaign for his Republican opponent in the coming months “as much as possible.”
Newsom is banking on Trump, whose job approval in California was just 30 percent in a poll last month, being more of a liability than an asset in a state that has been the cradle of resistance to the Trump presidency.
In a tweet of his own, Trump earlier Wednesday touted the second-place performance of Republican John Cox in the state’s nonpartisan primary on Tuesday.
Under California’s election rules, Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Cox, an accountant who did not support Trump in 2016 but has embraced the president’s backing this year, will face off in November to succeed term-limited Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
“Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California,” Trump wrote on Wednesday morning. “He can win.”
With most precincts reporting, Newsom was leading Cox, 33 percent to 26 percent, with three other candidates trailing.
In his tweet, Trump also said that “[e]ven Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible.”
In response, Newsom wrote: “Please come campaign for him as much as possible.”
Since taking office, Trump has been a harsh critic of Brown and Democratic stewardship of the nation’s most populous state. In a tweet this week, Trump referred to it as “High Tax, High Crime California.”
Scott Clement contributed to this report.