California Gov. Gavin Newsom called this week’s recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin “predictable” on Friday, adding he thought it didn’t deserve the national media attention it received.
“That was so predictable, predictable, particularly after the school board recall,” Newsom, who was once the mayor of San Francisco, said in an interview with FOX 11 Los Angeles host Elex Michaelson. “Nothing about that was surprising.”
He said he didn’t think the recall warranted the national attention that it received as an “arbiter of something farther reaching. I thought the punditry was a little overwhelming on it,” he said.
“I think the issue in San Francisco, in particular, is people want the streets cleaned up – period. Full stop. Enough,” he told Michaelson on the FOX 11 political show “The Issue Is.” “They want the streets cleaned up. They want a sense of order from the disorder they’re feeling on the streets.”
He continued, “Now crime’s a component of that but there’s a lot of conflation of those issues,” including mental health, open use of drugs, drug dealing and “the dirtiness in parts of the city. And tag, the DA was it, meaning there was some attachment of accountability and responsibility.”
He said all San Francisco elected officials took some blame for the state of the streets but “in particular the district attorney.”
When asked by the host if Democrats bear responsibility for issues like homelessness in San Francisco and other cities, he said “absolutely” but added that cities across the country have the same issues – Democratic and Republican.
“It’s right to focus on where we need to improve, not necessarily unique and distinctive,” he said.
Michaelson was speaking to Newsom during the international Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles this week.
On the highly contested Los Angeles mayor’s race, the governor said he hadn’t gotten involved and was friends and had worked with both billionaire Rick Caruso and U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., who will face each other in a runoff in November.
The governor easily won his own primary this week but said he didn’t have an election night party because “November is a lifetime away.”
He said he was working on the budget and going through emails when his win was announced.
Newsom added that the state will be sending out gas checks to counter record gas prices in the next few weeks and said California is working on codifying Roe v. Wade, which is in jeopardy nationally.
And on the epidemic of gun violence, the governor said the state is still working on a bill he said is based on the Texas six-week abortion ban that allows people to sue private citizens.
He said the initiative will have “real consequences” toward taking illegal guns off the streets.
Newsom had previously said he would pass a law based on Texas’ abortion law, which he condemned, that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, sells or distributes assault-style weapons in the state.
The governor also told the host he’s concerned about “what is going on with the Democratic Party” nationally on taking the initiative on issues like a woman’s right to choose and gun control, saying that President Biden is the president, not the head of the party.
“It’s not his job to organize at all levels the Democratic Party,” Newsom said, “That’s the Democratic Party’s responsibility,” he emphasized.”
He added it’s not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s job either.
Newsom said he posed the question previously out of “frustration” and had been criticized by some members of the party.
“I don’t want to take a cheap shot,” he said but added he is concerned about the narrative and leadership within the Democratic Party.
“Where the hell are we as a party to capture the narrative, to capture the imagination of the American people?” he asked rhetorically.