Breaking News
More () »

John Cox's 'Meet the Beast' tour stop in San Diego includes a live bear

Cox's campaign trail includes a 1,000-pound bear named Tag.

SAN DIEGO — John Cox is running for governor of California again, but this time he is not hitting the campaign trail alone. He brought along the great symbol of California, a 1,000-pound bear named Tag.

Cox was in San Diego on Tuesday for a campaign event at the Outdoor Boating Club of San Diego on Shelter Island.

Cox, who is running to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year, used the animal to illustrate his campaign theme of "Beauty and the Beast." Newsom, who Cox presents as an elitist out of touch with the needs of Californians, is the "beauty" in that equation.

Cox said it symbolizes him standing up to special interest groups in Sacramento. He explained that he wants to take on California's notorious problem areas - like homelessness, expensive housing, and kids learning on zoom instead of in person. He criticized governor Gavin Newsom's policies and the hypocrisy of the French Laundry incident in northern California even calling Newsom a “pretty boy” a handful of times.

Some criticized the decision to bring a bear along, saying it’s an unhealthy environment for the large animal. Protestors showed up at the Shelter Island event shouting “you don’t need a bear for your campaign”.

Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director of Lions Tigers & Bears in Alpine, said she hopes Cox changes his mind.

“Toting an animal around from city to city is dangerous and inhumane,” says Brink. “A 1,000-pound grizzly bear has no business being confined to a small transport cage for hours on end, and then unleashed in a shocking debut to the public at each political stop. There are other means of bringing attention to your campaign, but using a wild animal is not one of them.”

Brink said she invited Cox and his campaign team to her Alpine large animal sanctuary to hopefully educate them about these animals. 

WATCH RELATED: 'Great Bear Rainforest' takes center stage at Fleet Science Center

Before You Leave, Check This Out