Activists who worked for the recall of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California are doing damage control after a serious loss.
On Wednesday, after the GOP effort to recall California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom officially came to an end in a resounding loss, Fox News hosted a roundtable of anti-Newsom activists who claimed they had achieved "success."
However, "Fox & Friends" invited several guests who were a part of the recall movement to react to the results of the election, and many of them declared successes.
"I do think this was a huge success because a small group of people did put some fear into the governor to the point that he actually had to fly out the vice president and the president," Erica Kious, the former owner of a San Francisco hair salon, said, after saying she was "devastated" by the recall results.
In September 2020, Kious had released a video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting her salon despite COVID restrictions.
"It was a huge grassroots effort," guest Aaron Bergh said. "It was great to see this revolution of small business owners and dissatisfied parents and just ordinary Californians to put their foot down and say we need change here."
The GOP effort to oust Newsome lost despite national support and fundraising campaigns.
While Newsom outraised his opponents, there were millions raised in favor of the recall campaign. The L.A. Times reported that pro-recall efforts received over $45.2 million in donations.
The recall campaign also had the support of the national Republican Party and the California Republican Party.
"Gavin Newsom has had three years to solve California's problems. He has only made them worse. His time in office is up," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in an op-ed column on FoxNews.com on Tuesday.
Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, wrote a few hours before the election, "@CAGOP has grown to 72,000 volunteers and made 18 million voter contacts to #RecallGavinNewsom - the excitement and enthusiasm is there, Californians are hungry for change."
And then there was Fox News. As polling began showing a likely Newsom win, Fox began to promote baseless conspiracy theories alleging that the election would be stolen.
"The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud," Fox host Tomi Lahren claimed on the Sept. 7 edition of the program "Outnumbered."
On Aug. 22, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich similarly alleged that "this is going to be an election where they go all-out to steal the referendum."
And on Aug. 25, Fox host Tucker Carlson claimed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigning for Newsom was a threat to democracy: "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now set to campaign against the recall — 'No more democracy for you!' You've got to wonder, will the state survive this? Will there be a free and fair election?"
Despite the efforts of the state and national Republicans and their allies at Fox, the leading Republican candidate in the recall, Larry Elder, conceded on Tuesday night.
"Let's be gracious in defeat. By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," Elder said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.