Newsom Tries To Defend San Francisco Homeless Sweep

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is once again trying to defend himself amid criticism over the sudden cleanup of homeless encampments and open-air drug markets in San Francisco ahead of a visit from world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While Californians have begged for the government to deal with homeless encampments and crime for some time now, the problem was not addressed until it would embarrass politicians on the world stage — and officials only dealt with the issue in the areas that would be seen by world leaders during their scheduled visit, removing homeless encampments and erecting metal barriers around the streets of San Francisco.

Critics slammed Newsom over the weekend for the move, questioning why he refused to clean up the streets for the safety of his own citizens but was more than happy to do so for dictators like Xi.

“San Francisco’s homeless population was entirely cleared out for Xi Jinping. The government can easily fix our cities overnight. It just doesn’t want to,” popular X account End Wokeness wrote.

The cleanup came ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), otherwise known as the “Super Bowl of World Economies.” APEC is holding its 2023 leaders meeting in San Francisco from November 11-17, where leaders of 21 countries will gather — including Xi, President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Newsom initially attempted to dismiss criticism while also admitting that the criticism was completely true — acknowledging that the cleanup had only taken place because of the “fancy” guests coming to town.

“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town.’ That’s true because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months before APEC, we’ve been having conversations,” he told reporters.

However, when the backlash only got worse, Newsom tried to push back again during comments to reporters at the “Clean California” event — where he compared the cleanup to tidying a house before having guests over.

“Anytime you put on an event — by definition — you know you have people over at your house, you’re gonna clean up the house,” he said.

“21 world leaders … you got tens of thousands of people coming from all around the globe,” Newsom added. “What an opportunity to showcase the world’s most extraordinary place — San Francisco.”