California bashing is a constant presence on the Iowa campaign trail

From left to right: Vice President Kamala Harris on January 9, 2024 in Atlanta; Representative Nancy Pelosi in October. January 16, 2023 in New York; and Governor Gavin Newsom on January 10, 2024 in Sacramento.
(Associated Press)

California bashing is a constant presence on the Iowa campaign trail

Election 2024, Kamala Harris, California Politics

Ziema Mehta

January 15, 2024

Even though the Iowa caucuses are 1,700 miles away from California and the temperature is high

70 degrees a lot

colder here, the Golden State, its elected leaders and its policies were a constant target ahead of the nation’s first presidential nominating contest Monday.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi

(D-San Francisco)

could be a hedge fund expert considering how much money she’s made in the stock market during her time in office, Florida’s governor says. Ron DeSantis told Iowans. He accused Republican rival Nikki Haley, the former U.N


ambassador, to tell more lies and be “more liberal than Gavin Newsom.” Haley said she fears a Kamala Harris presidency as much as she fears another term for former President Trump.

Bashing California, one of the most liberal states in the country, is a great tradition within the Republican Party. But Republican presidential candidates may focus more on the state and its politicians this cycle because they are a better target than President Biden.

Biden is not as much of a motivational villain as other Democrats might be. So the Republican candidates are essentially running a negative campaign against California, says Dan Schnur, a professor of politics at USC, UC Berkeley and Pepperdine.

As evidence, he pointed to DeSanti’s attack on Haley during a debate last week.

The absolute worst thing Ron DeSantis could say about Nikki Haley during the debate was that she might be more liberal than Gavin Newsom, Schnur added. For an Iowa Republican, or any Republican for that matter, that’s an absolutely terrifying concept.

California was once a Republican stronghold and launched the political careers of




Nixon and


Reagan. But conservative attacks on the state have increased in the decades since Reagan left office.

In 2002, President George W. Bush even apologized for calling American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh some deluded Marin County hot tubber. Public Policy Opinion Polls About 44% of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the state.

Today, Republican Party fundraising appeals complain about the state’s residents, especially Hollywood celebrities and tech billionaires, fueling Democratic campaigns, despite the fact that the state also provides an outsized number of political donations to Republican candidates.

During this election cycle, DeSantis compared Haley to Newsom, whom he debated in November during a CNN showdown in Des Moines last week.

DeSantis brought up Pelosi while lamenting the lack of rules for members of Congress during his campaign at Jethros BBQ in Ames.

I just think we have a problem with Congress, it’s almost disconnected from the people. They live under different rules, he said, adding that he has not traded stocks since his election and compared himself to Pelosi. They are killing the market and I don’t think members of Congress should be able to trade stocks. I think we need to reform that.

Haley raised Harris, the current vice president and former U.S


senator and attorney general, as she discussed why she believes Trump should not be re-elected president.

You all know it, chaos follows him. And we can’t be a country in disarray and have a world on fire and live through another four years of chaos because we’re not going to survive that, she told supporters at an event space in Ankeny. You don’t beat Democratic chaos with Republican chaos. And one more thing we should think about:


We can never afford a President Kamala Harris.

California should review its budget situation and policies before asking why Iowa should play such an important role in selecting the nation’s presidential candidates, the former Iowa governor said. Terry Branstad, who has family ties to California and has spent significant time in the state.

Maybe you should get your house in order. California has the largest deficit and California is going in the wrong direction, Branstad said in an interview. California has so much to offer. It’s a beautiful state, it has beautiful weather and all that stuff. But now people are leaving because of the tax burden, the hospitality and all the regulations.


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