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Gov. Gavin Newsom offered genuine praise of President Donald Trump for his efforts in helping California through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democrat lawmaker, who has been more than vocal in his past criticisms of Trump, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he would “be simply lying” if he said the president had not done all he could for the Golden State.
“You’ve had differences with the president in the past, tough words on both sides. You’ve been able to work together it seems in this for the needs of your state,” Cooper said to Newsom during “Anderson Cooper 360″ on Friday.
“We’re involved in 68 lawsuits with the Trump administration. I’ve been on your show, I haven’t been timid, he certainly hasn’t been timid,” Newsom responded.
“But I got to say this, it’s just a fact, I’d be lying to you, I’d be lying to the American people – every single direct request that he was capable of meeting, he has met,” Newsom said.
“We have the USNS Mercy in California because of his direct intervention and support. Two thousand of these federal medical stations because of his direct support,” he continued, referring to the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy which was deployed last month to help Los Angeles-area hospitals to care for those with COVID-19.
“So I can only speak for myself, but I have to be complementary,” the governor told Cooper on Friday.
“Otherwise I would be simply lying to you, misleading you, and that is a wonderful thing to be able to say and I hope that continues,” he added. “This has been a remarkable moment where at least we have been able to rise above that partisanship.”
The Democrat has sparred with Trump on multiple occasions since coming into office in January 2019 and recently announced that California would act “as a nation-state” to procure hospital supplies that the federal government has not been able to provide.
California has seen over 21,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and nearly 600 deaths. Newsom attributed the lower numbers to the fact that residents are “staying at home & physically distancing.”
California has made significant progress bending the curve because you’re staying at home & physically distancing! 👏
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) April 11, 2020
Newsom’s past battles with Trump have been celebrated by liberals who seem to find it difficult to accept his genuine praise for the president’s efforts in the current emergency.
Newsom also did not take the bait last week when set up to bash the president during an interview on “The View.”
“You know it’s no secret that you have had a combative relationship with Trump in the past, but lately you have been praising him for the help,” co-host Joy Behar said, apparently shocked by the very idea and floating the possibility that Newsom felt obligated to “kiss the ring” of the president in order to secure much-needed supplies in his state’s battle with the pandemic.
“You know, do you feel like you have to feed this guy’s ego to get the respirators and to get the PPE’s? Is that what’s going on?” she asked.
The governor reminded Behar about his state’s many lawsuits with the administration and admitted: “there’s no question we have had our differences of opinion on many issues.”
But he noted that California got a “head start” on the efforts to stem the spread of the virus and “worked very collaboratively with the federal government and built strong relationships of trust” early on.
“As a consequence of that, our relationship began earlier than most, and so from that perspective, all I can say is from my perspective, the relationship has been strong,” Newsom continued. “I’m not doing it to kiss the ring. I’m not doing it in a way, you know — I’m just being forthright with the president. He returns calls. He reaches out. He’s been proactive.”
Though the president has been slammed by critics for injecting optimism in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Newsom did much the same in his conversation with CNN.
“Finally, your message to Californians, to all Americans about where we are, what lies ahead,” Cooper asked at the end of the segment Friday.
“Stay the course. Stay the course,” Newsom replied.
“Let us not run, as I said, the 90-yard dash,” he added. “If we stay the course we’ll get this economy back sooner, we’ll save lives, we’ll avoid a second wave, we’ll buy ourselves time for more and better treatment and of course a vaccine and kind of immunity, herd immunity that ultimately will get this economy back on its feet and get Americans back at work and back spending more time with their family and less time at home.”