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'They Want To Set Us Back... This Is Serious': Newsom Fires Back At Republicans A Day After He Was Bashed In Debate

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) -- Governor Gavin Newsom was on the offense on Thursday, one day after Republicans bashed him at a debate for the recall election he is facing.

Newsom called his opponents "anti-science," claiming they'll set the state back.

Four of the top Republicans who want to replace Newsom -- John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and Doug Ose -- each made moves to distinguish themselves from the current governor.

Newsom, who was in Long Beach on Thursday to promote his Cleaner California campaign, slammed his GOP opponents for shunning vaccine mandates.

"You listen to those guys, that's a 'COVID cliff,' Newsom said. "They want to set us back, not move us forward. I hope people pay real attention to what's at stake."

Newsom also took aim at a wide range of issues, including lack of support for climate change science and abortion rights.

In his remarks to reporters, Newsom also sounded off for his support for a state mandate that health care workers get the coronavirus vaccine.

The governor also spoke to the L.A. Times, saying he applauded the clearing of homeless encampments at Echo Park and Venice Beach.

The recall election is set for Sept. 14.

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