The Interview With Raj Mathai

The Interview With Raj Mathai

In-depth interviews that go beyond one or two soundbites

The Interview: Gavin Newsom

Lt. Governor Newsom talks politics and family.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Raj Mathai sits down with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom for a candid and honest interview about his critique of his boss, Governor Jerry Brown, and how fatherhood has changed him. (Published Friday, Jun 8, 2012)

    He went from the number one politician in San Francisco to number two in Sacramento, and now Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is fired up, and isn't holding back. It's Gavin Newsom unfiltered in "The Interview with Raj."

    The images are countless. In many ways, we've seen Gavin Newsom grow up right before our eyes. But perhaps his biggest growth has come away from the spotlight in the last year. Raj asked him, "Do you miss being relevant on a daily basis?"

    Newsom Chats About Mirkarimi Scandal

    [BAY] The Interview: Newsom on Mirkarimi
    Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom talks about the Sheriff Ross Mirkirimi scandal in this web extra. (Published Friday, Jun 8, 2012)

    "Partially and partially not," Lt. governor Newsom answered, and added, "People have an intense reaction to someone they see on T.V. especially someone who they pay their salary to." Raj then followed up by saying, "But knowing you, you thrive on that. I know you do," to which the Lt. Governor answered, "I do I enjoy that. I miss a bit of that, but at the same time I don't miss being booed when I walk into a movie theater and trust me there's plenty of that especially when you're with your kid and someone gives you the finger and you settle down, and now you have to worry about that."

    This is Gavin Newsom 2.0, a little bit older, wiser, and not afraid to attack his boss, Governor Jerry Brown. "My great critique of this administration is its unprecedented cuts to higher education, and contrast that to Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010, a $19 billion dollar budget shortfall. Huge problems. He had every incentive to do the same. He added 750 million dollars to the UC and CSU system because he valued it, he prioritized it," Newsom Said.

    Raj then asked, "When you tell Governor Brown what you just told me, what's his response?" Gavin answered, "You find me exactly where the money comes from. I used to say that as mayor. It's a quick response. With all due respect, I've been on the executive side. It's not good enough." Raj followed up by asking, "Where is Governor Brown putting this money in your opinion?" Lt. Governor Newsom answered, "Well he's trying to offset cuts in other places and good for him, and there's strong constituency. I'm just saying, my priority is this. I didn't just say this when I got here. I'm saying this 3, 4, 5, 10 years ago, I've been saying this for a number of years. I've been saying this when I was campaigning. this is my priority. If we lose our system of higher learning, we have truly lost the California dream."

    "It sounds like you're setting yourself up to run for Governor in 2014. Would I be wrong to say that," Raj asked. "Yeah you would be," Lt. Governor Newsom answered. "Look, I ran for governor, momentarily against Jerry Brown and realized that I needed to pull back, so I think people know what my original intention was, that said I want to make real this job of Lt. Governor, and that’s why I’ve probably been a little more honest and forthright than a lot of other Lt. Governors while in office. I’m going to keep fighting I want to do more with this position.”

    There's another side to Lt. Governor Newsom, that of father. "Tell me how fatherhood has changed you," Raj said to Newsom. "It’s the greatest. It’s the greatest. It’s beyond awesome. It’s beyond, it just knocks you on your feet, every single day," Compared to his days as mayor, as Lt. Governor, Newsom is home more on Saturdays, and that means it's all about family. "Saturdays in the morning, my daughter and I get bagels, and all she talks about  is bagel, bagel, bagel," Newsom said.

    Newsom has as much admiration for his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom as he does for his children saying, "Why I'm the husband of Jen Siebel Newsom. She's got this film, 'Miss Representation' Oprah Winfrey just bought it, it was at Sundance. It just gets bigger and bigger. She's created a whole movement around this film and it's taking off."

    With a wife and family, Lt. Governor Newsom is moving on from past scandals. "You survived a scandal in your own City Hall in 2007. It came out you had an affair with the wife of one of your staffers. What did you learn from that, and do you still apply those lessons today," Raj asked.

    "Yeah, I mean everything that could be said has been said about that. you know I also learned that there's no reason to rehash it," Newsom answered. He went on to say, "Certain things you do in life you can never take back, you hurt people you care about and you learn from it because life is about learning from your mistakes and moving forward and I'm a much better person from learning from that experience."