California Governor Gavin Newsom talks about bullies in anti-Republican political ads

SAN JOSE, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom said political attack ads he funds and run in Florida and Texas are retaliatory for the Republican-backed withdrawal of the lawsuit against him.

“I literally take advantage of the moment I’m in,” Newsom said in an exclusive interview with CNBC. “I had to collect, I think we put over $80 million to defend ourselves in last year’s subpoena. These guys nationalized the subpoena against me. They pursued our values, they chased our people, they chased the things we cherish in the state, and I’m just defending” .

Newsom successfully eliminated a drag attempt last year in California. When asked if he’s preparing to run for president, Newsom insisted that’s not the case.

“I sleep at night,” Newsom said. “I sleep at night fighting bullies like Ron DeSantis.”

Newsom’s re-election campaign posted an ad in July on Florida television stations that criticized DeSantis. In the ad, Newsom said freedom “is under attack in your country.” “I urge all of you who live in Florida to join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom from hate, freedom to love.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom successfully eliminated last year’s impeachment bid in California. When asked if he’s preparing to run for president, Newsom insisted that’s not the case.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The 25-minute interview with Newsom came after the governor formally signed the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) legislation, which he drafted to address the issue of the homeless in California. The bill would provide court-ordered care for those with severe mental disorders.

“It deals with what is happening on our streets and sidewalks especially in relation to the most important issue: mental health,” Newsom said. “Every day we see people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoid people — mostly, let’s be honest, we’re taking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.”

The CARE Tribunal provides a rapid response for family members and first responders to petition a judge to order an evaluation of a person with a mental health disorder. If the person qualifies, the judge will prepare a detailed CARE plan that can include housing.

“We’re seeing this in California like any other state,” Newsom said. “It’s not unique in California, it’s worse here. It’s an important issue that we haven’t been able to address.”

The legislation will be implemented statewide, starting with seven counties including: San Francisco, Orange, Riverside and San Diego. Newsom said he hopes the program will eventually spread across the country.

Newsom also defended AB 257, the Fast Food Business Act, which extends protections to fast food workers.

“There are sectors in our economy where workers have no voice, no choice, and where their health and safety are often at risk,” Newsom said. “A disproportionate number of women and minorities work in this sector. And it’s not just teenagers, who work a few hours a week to make their way, there are mothers and people who have been working 20 years in the fast food industry. They are stuck. We wanted to create some sectoral bargaining to give people a little of support, and give them a little opportunity.”

The current California minimum wage is $15 per hour for companies with more than 25 employees. The law would allow the new 10-person board to raise the minimum wage to $22, which has drawn some criticism from people who fear it will make it more expensive to go out to eat.

“I got an In-N-Out burger right below the block offering $22 today, and I can’t even find workers,” Newsom said. “They passed the minimum wage in this economy some time ago. They’re having a hard time finding workers, which is understandable. Workers say, ‘What did you get for me?’

As part of an extensive interview, Newsom also said:

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