Gov. Gavin Newsom critized fellow Democrats for considering blocking former president Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot, saying that, “we defeat candidates at the polls.”
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said in a statement. “But in California, we defeat candidates at the polls.”
“Everything else is a political distraction,” Newsom said.
The effort to boot Trump off the ballot has been gaining momentum after Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis sent a letter to California Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, and urged her to “explore” all legal options of removing the former President from the state’s ballot.
“Based on the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling in Anderson v. Griswold (2023 CO 63), I urge you to explore every legal option to remove former President Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot,” the letter to Weber said.
In the letter, Kounalakis argued that persuing legal options for removing Trump is about “protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy.”
“This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy,” Kounalakis wrote.
Newsom’s comments come in the wake of this week’s ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court to remove Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot.
The divided court ruled that Trump is ineligible to run for the presidency under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause, arguing that his actions fueled the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing protesters aiming to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
The blockbuster development was immediately condemned from nearly all corners of the GOP. Additionally, Trump’s Republican rivals for their party’s presidential nomination – who are aiming to defeat him at the ballot box – quickly rallied around the former president.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.