This week, "The Issue Is" is on the road, taking the show to Washington, D.C..
This, as California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) visited the nation’s Capital for a series of high-profile meetings and to accept an Education Innovation Award on behalf of the Golden State.
Over the course of three days, the Governor met at the White House with Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Newsom also took to Capitol Hill, meeting with the California Congressional delegation, as well as Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Along the way, the Governor also spoke exclusively with FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson, de-briefing between meetings and sitting down for a lengthy one-on-one, covering gun safety legislation, abortion, his attacks on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, speculation about his 2024 White House ambitions, mask mandates, the effort to recall L.A. D.A. George Gascon, and more.
THE ISSUE IS: DELIVERING FOR CALIFORNIANS WHILE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's about bringing money back home. I mean, at the end of the day, you got to show up, you got to make a case, and there is billions, hundreds of billions of dollars that's out there that hasn't been sent to states large and small across this country. People are converging to get these dollars, these competitive grants, and we got to make sure we show up and deliver for the people of California, particularly in one area disproportionately - with all the stimulus money, a lot of it went out categorical, meaning everyone got a percentage based on population, but there's a lot of competitive grants in transportation, notably. So if you're thinking that in Los Angeles in particular, we've got all these big projects, we've got 2028 coming up, the Olympics and all this opportunity, we've got to fill those voids, fill those gaps…"
THE ISSUE IS: SQUASHING 2024 SPECULATION AND RALLYING AROUND PRES. BIDEN
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Leading's tough in this environment - after two years of the coronavirus, supply chain issues, international inflation, not just unique to the United States, It's tough. It's difficult times. People are angry, frustrated, so being in positions of influence by definition are challenging... In some ways, you know, your at 40 or 50% approval, that's remarkable under the circumstance. All of that is situational. That said, just keep doing your job, trying to be the best person you can be. Don't, you know, don't be ideological, be open argument, interested in evidence. Don't wake up with a closed fist, but an open hand. The same time, and this is an answer to your question, you have to also recognize what you're up against, and right now, we're up against the ruthlessness of a Republican Party…"
THE ISSUE IS: NEWSOM VS. DESANTIS AND OTHER RED STATE GOVERNORS
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Stop being a bully. Stop belittling people that look differently, act differently, love differently. Who the hell are you? Stop. Stop threatening people. Stop being so coercive... Power, dominance, aggressive, fear mongering... Look what Abbott is doing. Abbott's talking about eliminating a fundamental right, for people regardless of their immigration status, to get an education. We were debating that in 1990's - watch that space... This is a real moment for diverse communities, and it's not just, again, DeSantis, it's Abbott, it's Kentucky, it's South Dakota, you go down the list, these red states, there's a ruthlessness and they have an agenda, and we need to wake up. We cannot connect the dots in ways we should, and, you know, I'm not I'm not looking to be the guy on the white horse, I'm not trying to run the party, I'm trying to run the most diverse and the most magnificent state in our union. But I'm not going to run away from contrasting their approach and ours…"
THE ISSUE IS: L.A. COUNTY POTENTIALLY REINSTATING THE INDOOR MASK MANDATE
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Look, localism is determinative, this is a bottom up frame. The end of the day, I keep reminding people because I keep reminding myself, California's the size of 21 state populations combined. The conditions up in northern California, near the Oregon border, are very different than they are in the southern part of the state. And so I do believe in regional approaches. I do believe in flexibility at the local level. I see the exact opposite mandates, denying flexibility at the local level coming out of other states. We believe in a different approach. So I think that needs to be tailor-made through the elected process and the delivery process at the local level, I do think that's more appropriate."
THE ISSUE IS: THE EFFORT TO RECALL L.A. DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE GASCON
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I don't know... I haven't assessed... The reason I was so quick to understand the San Francisco dynamics [and the recall of Chesa Boudin] is my unique relationship to San Francisco that goes back, you know, generations in the context of my time as Mayor and Supervisor and working in many D.A.'s, including Kamala Harris when she was D.A.... It's a different dynamic, and so I have to assess and I haven't really given that, I mean it, that much thought. And, you know, I have an aversion to recalls, as you know, and I'm not convinced that's the best democratic approach to solving every problem…"
THE ISSUE IS: UCLA’S MOVE FROM THE PAC-12 TO BIG 10
GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I read about it... No big deal, I'm governor of the State of California. But maybe a bigger deal is I'm Chair of the U.C. Regents. I read about it. Is it a good idea? Did we ever discuss the merits or demerits? Not aware that anyone did. So it was done in isolation, it was done without any Regental oversight or support. It was done without any consideration, to my knowledge, now perhaps there was deep conversation with other presidents, or rather chancellors and presidents in the system, and impact more broadly, not just to the U.C.'s, but to other universities, including Stanford University and basically the Cal State System. I mean, if they had all those conversations, I look forward to learning more about them. And I've expressed that very clearly to leadership. And I think people in the state of California deserve answers to every one of those questions. And what does this mean for those student athletes that will be traveling all across this country? What does it mean to folks that decided to take a scholarship at UCLA with an understanding of the league they were joining and the opportunities and all of a sudden pass them up somewhere else that may have now a very different opinion? And if it was just about money, well, be honest about that... So trust me when I say this, we're not going to be looking into it - we already are looking into it."
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.