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Newsom: Democrats getting ‘destroyed’ on messaging

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Democrats are getting “destroyed” on messaging and “crushed on narrative” with the November midterms less than a week away. 

“We’re getting crushed on narrative. We’re going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense,” Newsom told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Newsom in the interview also acknowledged the midterm environment feels like a red wave. Democrats have sought to tone down the possibility that Republicans could see success in both the House and Senate next week, but Newsom said he was being “pragmatic.”

“I’m not paid to say that. I’m paid to say, you know, ‘fate and feel.’ I mean, I get it. Look, I mean, I could be the cheerleader. I’m also pragmatic, you feel it,” he said.

Newsom has been widely floated as a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, and he’s launched ads in red states like Florida and Texas, an unusual move for a Democrat.

The governor in the interview again waved off any speculation of a possible bid, telling Garrett “it’s not the direction that I’m leaning into” and “it’s not the moment.” 

It’s not the first time Newsom has hammered his own party on messaging. In September he urged Democrats to be more aggressive.

“These guys are ruthless on the other side,” he said at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. “Where are we? Where are we organizing, bottom-up, a compelling alternative narrative? Where are we going on the offense every single day? They’re winning right now.” 

Newsom’s latest interview, however, comes as many Democrats are urging members of their party to refocus their message and lean more into economic issues rather than relying on issues like abortion.

“In my view, while the abortion issue must remain on the front burner, it would be political malpractice for Democrats to ignore the state of the economy and allow Republican lies and distortions to go unanswered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in an op-ed published in The Guardian last month. 

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