SAN DIEGO - Republican businessman John Cox, who will face Democratic Lt. Govenor Gavin Newsom in the California governor's race, had the backing of President Donald Trump.
Trump posted a tweet Wednesday congratulating Rancho Santa Fe's Cox on advancing to the general election in November.
"Great night for Republicans! Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California. He can win. Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible. So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave. Working hard!" Trump stated.
Cox appeared on FOX 5 San Diego Wednesday and told Raoul Martinez he welcomes Trump's support, despite not voting for him in the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m glad the president supported me. I’m proud of that. I think it helped consolidate the Republican vote,” Cox said. “I know his personality and manner are a turnoff. I hope people look beyond that and look at results as he’s achieved results."
“This country is going to grow at a rate exceeding 3 percent. Latino and African employment is a record high. We have people working and wages are starting to climb.”
Cox blames state Democrats and his opponent Newsom for causing the high cost of living in California.
“Donald Trump did not create the housing crisis, high taxes and gas tax that we’re also going to repeal in November," Cox added. "People have to realize the mismanagement of this state has resulted in our lousy quality of life in a wonderful place to live. The political mismanagement is epic.”
Cox, who says he wasn't born from wealth and had to work his way up, is confident he can reach a broad range of voters in the state.
“I’m going to appeal to moderate Democrats and Independents who just want a better quality of life,” Cox said. “We need a livable place, where you can come from the bottom like I did.”
Newsom responded to Trump's tweet about Cox stating, "Please come campaign for him as much as possible."
Cox said he looks forward to a debate and his opponent may have to fend-off Trump.
“Gavin Newsom is going to run against the president and make him the issue. That is a distraction,” he said.
Cox finished second to Newsom in the race for governor. No candidate won 50 percent plus one in California’s “jungle primary” of 27 gubernatorial candidates.
Newsom scored 33 percent of the votes, while Cox was second with 26 percent. Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democratic former mayor of Los Angeles and speaker of the assembly, and Travis Allen, a Republican state assemblyman, followed in third and fourth place with about 13 and 10 percent respectively.
Political pundits had expected a bruising battle between two prominent Democrats: Newsom, whose resume includes two terms as San Francisco mayor, and Villaraigosa, a former Los Angeles mayor and