The Issue Is: Exclusive interview with Gov. Gavin Newsom

This week, an exclusive sit-down with California Governor Gavin Newsom.

This, as the Governor traveled to Southern California for a pair of events related to Pride month. First, Newsom met with parents, school leaders, teachers, and staff at the Glendale Unified School District, following a massive brawl at a recent Board meeting over the inclusion of LGBTQ studies in the classroom.

Then, Newsom visited Disneyland to celebrate the first-ever Disney After Dark Pride Nite Event.

Newsom discussed those Pride events, LGBTQ rights, and the debate over trans athletes in schools as he sat down with FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson for an extensive conversation on the statewide political show "The Issue Is."

In a wide-ranging interview, the pair also discussed his recent sit-down with Sean Hannity on FOX News, his escalating war of words with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and the possible criminal charges Newsom is pursuing against his Republican rival over recent migrant flights, homelessness, the indictment of Former President Donald Trump, and much more.


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We all want to be loved. We all need to be loved. And you know what? My heart is broken. I grew up in San Francisco, my first taste of politics was early memories around the Briggs Initiative in the 70’s, and there was a guy named Harvey Milk, Tom Ammiano, who eventually I ran against for mayor, these young leaders that had the courage to stand up and fight for LGBTQ community before anyone else. I mean, Harvey Milk's life was taken in that cause, and I thought we were past it when Ronald Reagan said, You know what? You can't catch gay like you can measles - even Reagan said that and said, stop the demonization of teachers and what's going on in the schools. And we defeated the Briggs Initiative only to see Ron DeSantis weaponize it again... I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime…"


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think we need more of that.... At the end of the day, we’ve got to get outside these silos...

"I was willing to at least, you know, take the risk of, you know, being on the receiving end of a lot of critique and questioning, because I think it's important. I hope the other side does that. I hope Republicans start doing that in terms of finding progressive audiences as well, because this is just not working anymore, like it's exhausting, I mean, it's really exhausting. I have no disrespect for people that disagree with me or even the people that try to recall me, I mean, they they love their kids like I love my kids, they love their community, they want to be protected, respected, connected to something bigger than themselves. Come on, man. We got to get through this and over this, and so that's why I went on…"


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I met with a sheriff that wants to press charges with him, just yesterday, from Texas, who was disgusted by what Ron DeSantis did, coming into his jurisdiction under false pretense, deceiving kids, not just adults, by sending them on an airplane to an island, Martha's Vineyard. I met with him to compare notes yesterday because it's exactly the playbook that DeSantis and his staff did to send migrants to California. I find that disgraceful, and I find it not only disgraceful, I think there's grounds to not only investigate, but to potentially initiate some form of accountability... It was remarkable comparing notes. He wants to pursue criminal charges, and we are investigating whether or not the similarities in the contours of consideration allow us to do the same, because we believe in accountability and we think this is wrong…"


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's a hell of a time for America, and it's going to be a tough few months as we work through this... [But I still] think [Trump] cleans [DeSantis's] clock. I think he does. I mean, I think DeSantis is, I think he's an afterthought at this stage. I think guys like Tim Scott are more interesting to focus on, Nikki Haley beginning, and Scott to break a little bit from DeSantis and others in terms of their rhetoric around this indictment are indicative of, I think, a different pathway to being the backup to Donald Trump. But Donald Trump's a T-Rex in the Republican primary. Outside of that, we know what happened a few years ago, Biden cleans his clock in the general…"


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "They're rolling back the rights that blue states have advanced. What the hell else are we going to do to save our kids? This is not normal. We're on pace to have a record number of mass killings in this country, and what are people promoting except status quo anti? So you know what, at least this is something to be for, and the overwhelming majority of Americans support what we just proposed, so I'm not giving up on it. California, I hope, will be the first state and I'm going to be around for the next few decades - maybe not in elected office, most likely not in elected office - but as a parent and as someone who believes in this country as a patriot, that believes this is unacceptable and we're better than that…"


GOV. NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Well, I think they're struggling to recover from the pandemic. They're struggling to come back. They're struggling with the macro economic shifts, particularly as it relates to telework, as it relates to what's the future of a downtown - is it stacking of offices or stacking of people? And they're in the process of rezoning and rebirth and reimagination. By the way, I've seen that in San Francisco for decades... 

"Here's issues related to shopping malls. There's issues related to Walgreens and others that have shut down all across this country. Everything in San Francisco, again, gets colored in and it's made 10x bigger. That said, I'm not denying the challenges there, that's why I put the National Guard in, that's why I put the CHP in, that's why I have dozens of projects the state is funding with focus and urgency in terms of beautification, and that's why I'm pushing the envelope to get these encampments off the street. Enough of the hand-wringing. They need to produce results…"

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to