SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Twitter fights, a public war of words, dozens of lawsuits—it's no secret there's no love lost between President Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. But, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a change in both their tunes.
“I must tell you, Gavin Newsom has been gracious – Los Angeles, California, the job we’ve done, and all of California," said President Trump during a recent White House briefing.
Newsom and Trump have consistently praised each other and their partnership during their daily updates.
“The relationship has been strong and I’m not doing it to kiss the ring," said Newsom during an appearance on ABC's "The View." Adding, "I’m just being forthright with the president, he returns calls, reaches out. He’s been proactive.”
Newsom has avoided criticizing the president, even when asked about other state's frustration with the federal response. It's a stark contrast from the governors of Washington and Michigan who have been critical of the support they've received. Consequently, the president has lashed out on Twitter and during news conferences at those leaders.
“He’s constantly chirping, and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it," said Trump during a press briefing. "We’re building hospitals, we’re doing a great job for Washington. Michigan— she has no idea what’s going on.”
Democratic political consultant and press secretary for former California Governor Grav Davis, Steven Maviglio, said the strategy is working for Newsom.
“Donald Trump takes things very personally and when you attack him personally, he has ways of getting even.
Maviglio says it's wise to put politics aside and tap into the federal government's vast resources during an emergency like the pandemic.
“Gavin Newsom made the smart move of not wanting to be in that battle, he understood President Trump has the combination to the federal vault where we can get all kinds of supplies, equipment, military aid," said Maviglio.
California's receiving millions of dollars in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Trump also sent Navy hospital ship "Mercy" to the state at Newsom's request.
Maviglio says the new side of their relationship and how both men are approaching it illustrates the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Good policy is good politics and I think it’s paying off for the president and for the governor in this situation."