California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s ‘pushing back against bullies’ in anti-Republican political ads

San Jose, Calif. Gavin Newsom said the political attack ads he ran in Florida and Texas are retaliation for the Republican-backed recall against him.

“It’s really taking advantage of the moment I’m in,” Newsom said in an exclusive interview with CNBC. “I had to raise, I think, we invested over $80 million to defend ourselves in a recall last year. These people nationalized the recall campaign against me. They went after our values, our people.” Went after, went after things we hold dear to the state, and I’m just pushing back.”

Newsom successfully repulsed a recall attempt in California last year. Asked if he was preparing for the presidential race, Newsom insisted that was not the case.

“I sleep at night,” Newsom said. “I fall asleep at night pushing back against bullies like Ron DeSantis.”

Newsom’s re-election campaign ran an ad on Florida TV stations in July criticizing DeSantis. “Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom said in the ad. “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 to choose, freedom from hate and to love. of freedom.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom successfully quashed a recall effort in California last year. Asked if he was preparing for the presidential race, Newsom insisted that was not the case.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The 25-minute interview with Newsom came after the governor officially signed the Community Assistant, Recovery and Empowerment (Care) Act, which he devised to address the homelessness issue in California. The bill would provide court-ordered care to people suffering from serious mental disorders.

“It addresses what’s happening on our streets and sidewalks specifically with the most important issue: mental health,” Newsom said. “We see people suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia every single day—most, let’s be clear, self-medicating with drug or alcohol addictions.”

Care Court provides quick response for family members and first responders to petition a judge to order an evaluation of someone with a mental health disorder. If the person qualifies, the judge will establish a detailed care plan that may include housing.

“We see it manifested in California like no other state,” Newsom said. “It’s not unique to California, it’s worse here. It’s an important issue that we haven’t been able to address.”

The law will be implemented statewide, beginning in seven countries: San Francisco, Orange, Riverside and San Diego. Newsom said he hopes the program will eventually roll out across the country.

Newsom also defended Fast-Food Labor Bill AB 257, which expands protections for fast-food workers.

“There are areas of our economy where workers don’t have a voice, where they have no choice, where their health and safety are often compromised,” Newsom said. “A disproportionate number of women and minorities work in that field. And it’s not just all teens who work a few hours a week to make their way up, you have moms who work 20 years in the fast-food industry. And they’re stuck. We wanted to do some regional bargaining to lift people up a little bit, to give them a little chance.”

The current minimum wage in California is $15 per hour for businesses with more than 25 employees. The law would allow the new 10-person council to raise the minimum wage to $22, which has drawn some criticism from those who fear it will increase the cost of going out to eat.

“I found an In-N-Out burger right down the block that’s offering $22 today, and even the workers can’t seem to find it,” Newsom said. “Minimum wage, they overtook that in this economy a while back. They’re having a hard time finding workers, makes sense. Workers are saying, what did you get for me?”

As part of the wider interview, Newsom also said:

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