Democrats in California governor's race say Trump is racist

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Democratic candidates for California governor are calling President Donald Trump a racist.

But Republicans who want the state’s top job didn’t respond directly when asked to comment on the president’s remarks disparaging Haiti and African countries.

The responses Saturday at a forum at the University of Southern California highlighted partisan differences among six candidates on issues from health care to taxes.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former state schools superintendent Delaine Easton are two of the Democrats and say the remarks show the Republican president is a racist.

But Republican businessman John Cox, of San Diego, and Assemblyman Travis Allen, of Huntington Beach, say Democrats are trying to avoid discussing state problems such as schools and immigration. Cox says candidates should talk issues and “not demonize the president.”