California Governor Gavin Newsom says he will “regret every damn one of” his recent policy decisions if he is recalled from office next month.
Newsom, who is facing a recall election on September 14, said in an interview with the Atlantic published on Friday that he feels “a weight of a responsibility to defeat” the recall effort, as well as “the responsibility that if we fall short, I’m going to own that.”
He listed a number of his recent initiatives, such as using billions of dollars of federal relief money in the state budget and signing a bill to expand health care to undocumented workers.
“If I do fall short, I’ll regret every damn one of those decisions. And I don’t want to have any regrets for putting everything out there and doing . . . what I think is right and what I think is in the best interest of California.”
The Democratic governor’s comments come after he previously told the Sacramento Bee earlier this month that he wouldn’t regret a “damn thing” if he were to be recalled.
“If they kick me out. I’m gonna feel good about what we just did, and not ever regret a damn thing,” Newsom said then. “We put it all out there on this education budget.”
A majority of likely voters in a SurveyUSA poll conducted earlier this month said they support recalling Newsom — 51 percent to 40 percent. Residents say they have grown frustrated with the governor over his pandemic mismanagement, strict lockdowns, and COVID restrictions and the state’s exorbitant cost of living, among other things.
To remain in office, Newsom will need to garner a majority vote when Californians mail in their ballots for the September 14 election. Newsom has repeatedly asked his supporters to focus on voting “no” to the recall and to leave blank a second question that asks who of 46 candidates should replace the governor.
If voters remove the governor, a recall competitor needs a plurality of the vote to win.
Dozens of Republican candidates are challenging Newsom, though conservative radio pundit Larry Elder has emerged as a favorite among GOP voters.