The businessman John Cox lost California’s last governor’s race to Gavin Newsom by 24 points. Now he’s back, and this time, he’s got a bear.

As Newsom faces a recall election, the Republican has launched a new campaign against him, attempting to portray the well-groomed governor as a “beauty” and himself as a “beast”. To drive home this message, he has employed some nonhuman staff, including an enormous bear – an apparent homage to the California flag.

The bear appeared at a press event on Tuesday in Sacramento. The campaign had hyped the moment by promising the 1,000lb creature as a “special guest”. As part of his Meet the Beast Bus Tour, Cox appeared at a podium in front of a vehicle emblazoned with his face next to that of a ferocious-looking bear. In reality, however, the animal appeared fairly uninterested in politics, lumbering around a few feet behind Cox before flopping on to the ground, panting heavily. It did not offer an endorsement, unless not eating the candidate counts as support.

John Cox greets a bear.
John Cox greets the bear, which did not offer an endorsement. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A handler occasionally fed the bear while Cox – who uses Twitter as @BeastJohnCox – took questions from reporters, decrying Newsom as a “pretty boy politician”. He said the bear was there to help him get his message out, and also addressed the animal’s welfare: “We made sure that everything about this bear is taken care of in the utmost.”

Cox is gunning for a recall election expected to take place in the autumn after Newsom opponents gathered enough signatures to force a vote. The beast is one of an unusual collection of contenders, who also include Caitlyn Jenner, a former Facebook executive, and a billboard model.

The bear is not the only animal Cox has pressed into service. In a campaign ad titled “Meet the BEAST”, a macaw repeatedly mocks Newsom as a “pretty boy” as it wolf-whistles. “We chose pretty over accomplished,” a voiceover warns Californians of Newsom, who grew up with dyslexia, launched a wine business, became the mayor of San Francisco, rose to lieutenant governor and won the 2018 governor’s race with nearly 62% of the vote – though he does have slicked-back hair. Images of the bird are interspersed with shots of a bear thundering through the forest, suggesting Cox would do the same in the halls of the capitol.

This video still from the new campaign ad released by John Cox.
This video still from the new campaign ad released by John Cox. Photograph: AP

At the press conference, however, the docile bear appeared far less likely to bring about significant legislative change. Cox noted that it had been raised in captivity, meaning its “mother didn’t have an opportunity to teach it how to fish”.

“If it were out in the wild, it would die very quickly,” he said.





READ NEWS SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here