Jul 10, 2023 - News

3 takeaways from Utah Gov. Spencer Cox's "Face the Nation" appearance

Photo illustration of Utah Governor Spencer Cox with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Office of Governor Spencer J. Cox

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox appeared on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday to discuss a range of issues impacting Utah youth and the 2024 GOP presidential primary field.

Driving the news: The state of Utah passed two controversial laws this year, including a measure that requires children to get their parents' permission to access their social media accounts and restrictions on gender-affirming health care for people under age 18.

On suing social media companies

  • Cox said the state plans to file a lawsuit against social media companies in the coming months for the alleged harm the sites have caused to the mental health of minors and teens.
  • "When you look at the new research that's coming out, there's not just a correlation between social media use and an increase in suicide, anxiety, depression, self-harm — there is a causal link there," he said.

On gender-affirming health care restrictions for youth

Cox cast doubt on prominent medical organizations, like the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, that opposed recent restrictions on gender-affirming health care for youth.

  • "Those groups are politicized," he said. "On this issue, it's impossible to get unbiased information out of the U.S. right now."

On who could beat Trump in the primary

  • Cox said any current or past GOP governors, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, vying to become the Republican presidential nominee next year "could win."
  • "I think governors have real experience," he said.
  • "I'm really hopeful that we can turn the page and try something else."

Read a full transcript of the interview.

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