Celebs And Politicians Who Can't Stand Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom was a divisive mayor of San Francisco. He was beloved and viewed as a progressive by many due to his commitment to LGBTQ+ rights, defying federal mandates by issuing same-sex marriage licenses before any state. However, others believed he was too centrist, too willing to cozy up to corporate interests and big oil, all talk and little action. There's a definite shady side to Newsom that plenty of politicians and even celebs have picked up on, and it's bitten him repeatedly during his time as governor of California.

Newsom took the Golden State's top job in 2019, riding the wave of a 62% win. He even survived a recall election in 2021, pushed for by Republicans and amplified over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, as homelessness spiraled out of control, crime rates inched up, and wildfires rampaged through California, Newsom's popularity plummeted. According to a UC Berkeley and Los Angeles Times poll in February 2022, most residents believed California was taking a nosedive. "The state has some major issues, and he's the governor. The buck stops there," the poll's director, Mark DiCamillo, told the Los Angeles Times.

But Newsom easily won a second term in November 2022 and even triggered talk of a presidential run. However, his commitment to attacking his GOP adversaries, a cost-of-living crisis, and rapidly rising inflation continue to increase his enemy count on both sides of the fence. We're looking at some of the celebs and politicians who can't stand Newsom.

Donald Trump called Newsom 'New Scum'

Donald Trump and Gavin Newsom have repeatedly butted heads, and 45 has the Democrat firmly in his crosshairs. "I'll tell you what ... he's so much bulls**t," Trump told "Sunday Morning Futures" host Maria Bartiromo in February 2024, according to Politico. "His state is doing horribly. You look at the homeless problem, you look at the people that are leaving. You have companies that are leaving, they are all leaving for other locations."

Newsom's shady digs at his ex-wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle, have done little to endear him to her future father-in-law, either. He claimed in an interview with "The Axe Files" podcast that "[Guilfoyle] was a different person" when they were together. "She's whip-smart, and she fell prey, I think, to the culture at Fox in a deep way," Newsom continued. "She would disagree with that assessment. She'd perhaps suggest she found the light." 

Meanwhile, you know you've made it when Donald awards you a nickname. "I mean, you look at this governor, 'New Scum' from California," he said while touring the Texan border later in February 2024, Newsweek reported. "Isn't that his name, 'New Scum?'" The Democrat didn't take the punches lying down. He hit back hard during his 2024 State of the State address. Without naming Donald personally, Newsom talked about the "poisonous populism of the right and the fear and anxiety that so many people are feeling today" and compared the MAGA movement to the spread of pre-WWII fascism.

Elon Musk accused Newsom of implementing 'facist' policies

Elon Musk and Gavin Newsom are both polarizing, outspoken, and controversial, so go figure, there's no love lost between them. Newsom has had beef with Musk since the COVID-19 pandemic when he implemented tough lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Musk was not happy about it — to say the least. He wanted his factories to remain open and fully staffed, and he made it clear that he would break Newsom's mandate.

"Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules," Musk vowed on X, formerly Twitter, in May 2020. "I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me." Musk's defiance followed a slew of angry rants, including the demand to "FREE AMERICA NOW," the accusation that Newsom had "put everyone under de facto house arrest," and a claim during a Tesla investors call that the governor's shelter-in-place order was "fascist," noted Forbes.

The tech billionaire was back on the attack in January 2022 over Newsom's proposal to introduce a new solar tax. "Bizarre anti-environment move by govt of California," he claimed, urging his followers to protest. Then, in September 2023, Musk, a vehement free-speech proponent, launched a lawsuit against the state of California over legislation Newsom signed in 2022 requiring full transparency from social media platforms regarding their policies for monitoring and removing hate speech and misinformation.

Joe Rogan branded Newsom a 'conman'

Joe Rogan has come a long way since his "Fear Factor" hosting days. In November 2019, he admitted on an episode of the "Joe Rogan Experience" that he was freaked out by the direction the show had taken near the end of its second installment. This is pretty ironic, as Rogan has been accused of being too extreme himself. "I believe he's become more emboldened to push baseless conspiracy theories and right-wing lies over the past year," Media Matters researcher Alex Paterson told The Verge in December 2021.

Rogan endorsed Bernie Sanders and has repeatedly refused to host Donald Trump on his show. Still, don't be fooled into thinking Rogan bleeds blue — far from it. He regularly rants and rails against woke culture and political correctness, and he is far from a fan of Gavin Newsom.

While discussing potential Democratic presidential candidates during an August 2023 episode of his podcast, Rogan slammed Vice President Kamala Harris, claiming she wouldn't stand a chance of scoring the top spot. "Nobody wants President Newsom, either," he continued. "Nobody believes in that guy. That guy's a f**king con man. Everything he did in California, from trying to mandate vaccines for kids, when it was totally unnecessary, to being caught out in public without a mask and lying about the fact that he was outdoors."

Annette Bening thinks Newsom is 'reprehensible'

Annette Bening is among the more surprising celebs who can't stand Gavin Newsom. Bening is a lifelong Democrat and fervent supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, there's no love lost regarding Donald Trump. "We are in a new reality," Bening told The Scottish Herald in February 2017 following Trump's inauguration. "The bottom line is that we in the arts have a huge responsibility, and I'm going to exercise my right to speak out. But I'm very selective about how I voice my views — I prefer to use the work that I do."

Bening certainly wasn't very selective about voicing her views on Newsom in November 2023. When the governor vetoed legislation that would have paid unemployment to union workers during strikes, she told Vanity Fair, "I find that reprehensible." Bening told the outlet that she was disgusted by Newsom when the actors' strike hit, following in the footsteps of the writers' strike, while she was filming "Apples Never Fall" in Australia.

"We pay into our unemployment — although as you know, the striking workers could not gather unemployment. They could on the East Coast, but they couldn't in California," she said. "I think that if we have paid into something and we're on strike as actors, as writers, as show business people, then we have a right to collect our unemployment."

Ron DeSantis accused Newsom of being 'a slick, slippery politician'

There's likely no politician can't stand Gavin Newsom more than Ron DeSantis. The Florida and California governors are like chalk and cheese, and they've been publicly duking it out for years over seemingly everything. In December 2022, Dan Rather suggested setting up a debate between the warring couple. "Two governors of big states, potential presidential candidates. Prime time. Ratings I bet would be huge. Who would have the courage to show up?" the journalist posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Newsom was in. "I'll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day," he taunted DeSantis. "I look forward to the opportunity to debate Gavin Newsom over our very different visions for the future of our country," the Floridian announced. And it was on. The two squared off in a heated debate in December 2023, where they fought over gun safety, LGBTQ+ rights, COVID-19 lockdown measures, abortion, crime prevention, and immigration, among other topics.

As noted by NBC News, the battle included its fair share of zingers, including DeSantis accusing Newsom of being "a slick, slippery politician whose state is failing" and holding up a map which, he claimed, showed areas of San Francisco that were covered in human feces. Meanwhile, Newsom accused DeSantis of attempting to "out-Trump Trump." The fight eventually spiraled into a kind of political "Mean Girls" remake: "You're nothing but a bully," Newsom lobbed at DeSantis. "You're a bully," he shot back.