Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed some of the strictest COVID-19 mitigation orders in the nation in recent months, opening him up to accusations of hypocrisy after he was spotted earlier this month at a crowded birthday party dinner without a mask.
As KTVU reported, the governor has since apologized for his “mistake” and insisted he will do a better job going forward of practicing what he preaches.
“We all fall short sometimes”
According to KTVU, Newsom attracted widespread opprobrium after pictures surfaced that revealed him with at least a dozen other celebrants at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant in Napa County.
Judging from the images showing a lack of social distancing and masks in the enclosed area, the gathering was held in clear violation of several restrictions enacted by Newsom himself.
During a news briefing on Monday, a reporter confronted him about the pictures.
“As soon as I sat down, I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated,” Newsom claimed, according to KTVU. “I made a bad mistake. Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up.”
He went on to say that he must “own that” decision and apologized to those disappointed in his behavior.
“I need to preach and practice, not just preach,” the governor continued. “I’ve done my best to do that. We’re all humans. We all fall short sometimes.”
“You have to own it”
According to KTVU, a reporter asked Newsom if he believed his “moral authority” had been damaged as a result of this controversy — and he conceded that it had.
“That’s why you have to own it and you have to be forthright,” the governor said. “I’ve been doing my best every single day, trying to model better behavior. I made one mistake. I should have gotten up.”
Of course, his attempt at apology fell short in the eyes of several notable pundits and politicos. Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, for example, denounced the “horrible” behavior, adding: “If you look up hypocrisy in the dictionary…there is a picture of Gavin Newsom.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) took aim at his state’s governor in a speech on the House floor, mocking Newsom for violating “his own idiotic COVID edicts as he partied at one of the few restaurants that’s not yet been forced out of business,” according to the Washington Examiner.