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Watch: California Governor Gavin Newsom begins his second term on January 6th, contrasting California as a pillar of democracy

California Governor Gavin Newsom Screengrab

On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom began his second term by contrasting his leadership of the nation’s largest Democratic stronghold with that of Republican leaders he referred to as “small men in big offices.”

“California has been freedom’s force multiplier, defending liberty against a rising tide of oppression taking root in statehouses — weakness masquerading as strength,” Newsom said in front of the state Capitol.

In a private ceremony on Monday, Governor Newsom took the oath of office. He kicked off his inaugural festivities Friday morning with a march down Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento, followed by a speech at the state Capitol.

He didn’t give names, but his targets were clear. Governor Gavin Newsom chose Jan. 6 for his inaugural ceremonies to commemorate the second anniversary of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, and he’s spent the past year criticizing Republican governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.

“I hear the echoes of my own family’s story in those that are still coming to California to pursue their dreams, drawn by the myth and magic of this place,” Newsom said. “Whether your family came here for work, or safety, California offered freedom to access it, not contingent on you looking a certain way, talking a certain way, thinking a certain way. And that’s what makes this place so special.”

On Friday, he emphasized the contrast, criticizing states that “make it harder to vote and easier to buy illegal guns,” as well as those that “silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women… and even demonize Mickey Mouse.”

Last December, the Democratic governor who enjoys a majority and enormous popularity in the Golden State, began a game of legal chess after he formulated gun control legislation that was based on a Texas law that authorized private citizens to sue anyone who has aided or abetted an abortion. The Texas High Court had declined to block the bill.

Both Newsom and DeSantis are widely regarded as potential presidential candidates, though perhaps not against one another. Newsom has stated his intention to support President Joe Biden if he runs for re-election to a second term. Meanwhile, DeSantis has not ruled out running for president in 2024, even as Trump seeks re-election.

Governor Gavin Newsom emphasized California’s position as the world’s fourth largest economy, its role in “leading the world in the transition to a low-carbon green growth future,” policies that provide free community college, and the establishment of what he called the largest volunteer corps in America.

What you have achieved here is truly inspiring – Congrats to Governor Gavin Newsom!

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