Reagan: Recall shows Trump is risky

Published 1:15 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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“A blow out.”

That’s what I said Monday on Newsmax when I was asked what I thought would happen in Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election in California.

It didn’t surprise me that in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3-1 the “No” vote for recalling Democrat Gavin Newsom won more than 60 percent of the vote.

I had been predicting for months that Newsom, no matter how awful he has been, would easily hold on to his job.

It’s not that I had a crystal ball or I’m a political genius or anything.

It’s just that unlike a lot of conservatives, I can recognize election fraud in California when I see it.

The fraud I’m talking about has nothing to do with any dirty tricks pulled by the Democrats.

The fraud in this week’s recall election — just like the fraud in every recent and future election in California — was the Republican Party.

Republicans around the country still think they have a competitive party in the former “Golden State,” but that hasn’t been true for a long, long time.

Just 24 percent of the electorate are registered as Republicans, which is why Newsom won in a walk, Joe Biden crushed Donald Trump by 5 million votes and Democrats have controlled the state assembly for decades.

The last Republican governor Californians elected was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was at heart a Democrat and only won because he was a global celebrity.

Since Arnold’s era, the Republican Party here has had no leader, no message and no hope of ever electing a U.S. senator, governor or president.

The recall election just made things worse for the GOP in California — and around the country.

The Republican candidates to replace Newsom — a parade of losers and nobodies led by the great conservative L.A. talk show host and top vote-getter, Larry Elder — never had a chance.

What hallucinogenic drug made GOP bigwigs think they were going to win on Tuesday?

Because 2 million people in a state with 22 million registered voters supported a ballot measure to recall Newsom a year before a general election? I hope not.

Politically, during the recall election the Democrats went to school and got educated while the Republicans flunked out.

In the process of defending Newsom and smearing Elder the Democrats found a tactic that they can use nationally to keep control of Congress in 2022 — painting every Republican candidate as a Trump clone.

In every race next year Democrats will be tying their Republican opponents to the so-called “insurrection” of Jan. 6 in Washington and the Nov. 3 election Trump keeps saying was stolen from him.

The core Trump crowd may get all giddy about this, but the fact is, a Republican candidate will eventually get to a point where the only people who’ll vote for him or her are the Trump people.

If you look at Tuesday’s numbers, for example, the “yes” vote for recalling Newsom was about equal to the percentage of Californians who voted for Trump in 2020.

What the GOP did by putting their hopeless recall election together was to set up a launching pad for Newsom to run for president.

He can run for governor again next year and win, then leave Sacramento in 2026 in time to set up a campaign to run for president in 2028.

Before that happens, the Republican Party better wake up and find some fresh presidential horses for 2024.

After what they learned Tuesday night about playing the Trump Card, I can hear Democrats across America praying that Trump runs in 2024.

It’s not that President Trump didn’t do many good things for the country. It’s about how he went about doing them.

He’d almost certainly win the Republican nomination because of his base, but I predict he’d lose bigger in the general election in 2024 than he did in 2020 — to anyone.

As I tweeted this week, if the GOP wants to retake Congress next year and regain the White House in 2024, I hope they learned this week they have to become more like Ronald Reagan and less like Donald Trump.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Visit his websites at and Send comments to