Newsom Brings Campaign Tour to Modesto

MODESTO -- Democratic candidate for governor Gavin Newsom was back on the campaign trail Wednesday in a rare public appearance, stumping for his fellow Democrats.

Newsom was in Modesto alongside Josh Harder, who is running for Congress, and Anna Caballero, a candidate for state Senate.

He addressed criticism from his Republican opponent John Cox about not being visible with voters.

"I’m out here, I’m available. I’ll actually answer a question that’s not just about an initiative on the ballot," Newsom said. "Just finished my 47th town hall last night. Thousands of people we’re reaching out and meeting with."

Before election day people may not get a chance to see Newsom and Cox square off on a debate stage.

Despite the Newsom campaign denying Cox's request for five debates, Newsom seemed to backtrack.

"We'll have some, we should. We did 10 in the primary," Newsom said. "Let’s do more. We’re happy to debate anybody, anytime, on any issue."

The Cox campaign has made repealing the gas tax a central issue.

While polls show support for the repeal is growing, Newsom maintains it would be a mistake, adding the 5 billion in revenue the tax creates is crucial for state infrastructure.

"Look, it’s a huge setback. Or maybe John Cox may have put out a plan to find the $5 billion. I can’t wait to read it," Newsom said.

Cox sent out a mailer on Wednesday portraying Newsom as a fortunate son, saying his businesses and political career have been financed by a few wealthy families. Newsom literally laughed at that criticism.

FOX40 also asked Newsom about health care, the high-speed rail and, should Newsom win, the legacy of his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown. See his responses below.