Newsom defends record in tense interview with Sean Hannity

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Sean Hannity and Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)<br/><br/>(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)<br/>

Newsom defends record in tense interview with Sean Hannity

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Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) defended President Joe Biden and his own record in a tense interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

Newsom joined the talk show host for a sit-down interview, which aired Monday. The wide-ranging interview covered everything from Newsom’s immigration stance to the 2024 presidential race.

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The interview began with mutual pleasantries about the opportunity for the two firebrands to join in a good-faith conversation.

“We need more of that,” Newsom said. “We need more of these conversations, and we need to not just accuse each other of misleading the American people. I think confronting each other in the context of providing opportunities to address some of the facts that are often omitted in terms of the conversations and topics that we choose to pick up.”

Hannity questioned Newsom on his immigration stance; the California governor denied the label of being for open borders, rather saying that he was only looking for true, effective immigration reform.

“I want border security,” Newsom said. “I want comprehensive immigration reform. I want to address the issue like Ronald Reagan did in 1989.”

Newsom even surprised Hannity when he declined to object to any border walls whatsoever.

“I have no problem with the 650 plus miles we have on border walls,” the governor responded when asked if he was against any border wall. “I come from a state with the largest … the largest land port in the western hemisphere. I don’t need to be educated on the issue of the border, or issues of immigration policy.”

Perhaps the most tense part of the interview was when Hannity repeatedly pressed Newsom on Biden’s mental competency, and whether or not he had any plans to join the presidential race in 2024 against Biden.

“I suspect if I took your phone and I took a look at it,” Hannity said, “I would bet on a daily basis that there’s people urging you to run for president and primary [Biden]. Am I wrong?”

“My phone has been lighting up with how well he did with the U.K. prime minister,” Newsom deflected. “McCarthy on the debt ceiling. These bipartisan bills he passes on infrastructure and the CHIPS and Science Act, the bipartisan work on gun legislation reform and around the debt ceiling.”

Hannity then played a video showing a series of Biden’s gaffes, with the suggestion that Biden wasn’t mentally fit to hold the presidency.

“I have conversations with him all the time. Yes. I’m dead serious about that,” Newsom said while Hannity scoffed. “I’ve talked to him when he’s been overseas. I’ve been in Air Force One, Marine One, the limo with him.”

When Hannity again prodded him as to how many people were begging him to run for president, Newsom would not give in.

“I see what you’re trying to do,” the governor responded. “I’m not answering.”

Newsom also owned up to many of California’s problems, saying he agreed that the state’s homelessness problem was “disgraceful,” but said that it was out of his control.

“Because housing costs are too high, our regulatory thickets are too problematic, localism has been too impactful, meaning people are pushing back against new housing starts and construction,” the governor explained. “I’ve been there four years. I can’t make up for the fact in 2005, we had a historic number of homeless under a Republican administration.”

“We own this Sean; I’m not defending this,” he continued, though he added a series of statistics that appeared to show the situation in regards to homelessness improving.

In a move that earned vocal respect from Hannity, Newsom listed a series of issues that he “owns” and is frustrated over a lack of results.

“I’m governor of a state larger than 21 states’ populations combined,” the California Democrat said. “The difference between me and most politicians; I own this. I take responsibility for this. This is personal to me. I love this state. I don’t like what is happening with the encampments and streets and sidewalks. I don’t like the bashing of San Francisco. Whole Foods did shut down one business, but that was a bad location to begin with; they’re opening a new one.”

Newsom also pushed back on accusations that he was against law and order.

“You mentioned ‘defund the police.’ Don’t accuse me of that. I’ve never been part of that,” Newsom clarified.

The governor also offered rare praise of former President Donald Trump, even expressing remorse over his indictment.

“It’s sad. I say that as an American,” Newsom said.

He touted the two’s relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they had an “incredible relationship” during the time.

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Also in line with a praise of Trump, Newsom bashed Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on several occasions, saying that Trump will easily crush him in the Republican primary.

“He’s belly-flopped. Donald Trump is going to clean his clock,” he said.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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