California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) made numerous eyebrow-raising remarks during a recent interview with local California publications as he faces a recall election, declaring at the end of the interview that “everybody outside the state is b****ing about this state because of our success.”

On the recall election: 

NEWSOM: I think the consequences of having the second incumbent Governor of California recalled for the last three, to see the weaponization of the recall process be as effective as a successful recall effort here, would weaponize the recall process even more than it currently is with DAs, and city council members, and school boards. I think the opportunity for the Republican Party with the midterm elections coming up in Kevin McCarthy’s backyard and Nancy Pelosi’s state and Kamala Harris’ home state, with California and the values we profess and practice that would be judged in a different light. If this was a successful recall, I think it would have profound consequences nationwide and go to not just politics, but to policy and policy making. It would go deep the issues of immigration, climate policy, health care, broadly defined situations like COVID, but even beyond that. I think its repercussions will be felt next year in the governor’s race for election and beyond.

REPORTER: If we could maybe take the French Laundry fiasco out of the mix, do you feel like your actions and decisions of governor would rise to a level where a recall is a fair response from the voters?

NEWSOM: No, not at all. 

On the problem of homeless people struggling with mental health issues in the state, Newsom said in-part:

NEWSOM: We also are doing something that the former occupant of this building is very much responsible for, the initiation, not to exaggerate because he wasn’t exclusively responsible, but in that budget in 1967, when Ronald Reagan inherited a major deficit, he very infamously had his finance department make massive mental health cuts, which he later denied much knowledge of, curious as that may sound. That began the process of this devolvement to the cities and counties that never manifested of our mental health system.

On crime in California, Newsom said in-part:

NEWSOM: I’m very concerned about the fact that you had as many people get an FBI background check, 39.7 million people, as there are Californians, last year in the U.S. I’m very concerned about guns in this state. I’m concerned about these radical judges. No other way to describe, stone-cold radical judges, that are trying to overrule our gun safety laws, particularly as relates to weapons of war and that assault weapons ban. It’s not just about the law, it’s about the culture and the attitudes and the permissiveness that that sends, the message that sends. … I am not one of those people that think you can smash someone’s window or knock over some grandma and somehow have a slap on the wrist. I don’t buy that. At the same time, I’ll take a backseat to nobody in my desire to deal with the hell, what the hell is wrong with you that you did that in the first place? And try to get under the hood and try to address that issue in a compassionate, thoughtful, and judicious way. But I believe in accountability as well. And so I’m not throwing up my hands, and I don’t think most folks in the reform movement are either, and I totally reject that people can’t do anything about retail theft. I mean, I didn’t go to law school, I wasn’t smart enough to go to law school, I couldn’t pass the LSAT, but I can read the penal code sections and, forgive me, look them up.

On how he can deliver the “California dream to all Californians” when California has “the nation’s highest housing costs, gasoline prices, and highest utilities”:

NEWSOM: Well, let’s talk about what we also are number one in, Stephanie. And guys, forgive me, I know I’m a little pointed today, but I’ve been taking a lot from few folks for a lot of months. So it’s nice to be able to express myself, too. … It’d be damn nice if our homegrown teams start focusing on what’s right. Everybody outside the state is b****ing about this state because of our success, and I’m proud of it. I’m not naïve about our competitive liabilities and that’s why we’re trying to address them.

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