As he counts down the days to a close recall election, it seems Gov. Gavin Newsom is struggling to quit a few habits.
One of them? Ditching California reporters for national publicity, even on local topics.
That habit came back to light Friday when The Atlantic published a rare interview with Newsom on the recall, sparking en masse blowback from California’s Capitol beat reporters.
NEW from me: California has a knack for anticipating America’s political future – so what does @GavinNewsom’s recall election say about what’s coming?— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) August 27, 2021
I sat down with Newsom to discuss: https://t.co/AJGRqg1y4l
Interesting choice of media outlets for the governor of California to give a sit-down interview… https://t.co/ylkJnG5Qi3— Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) August 27, 2021
POLITICO CA has been asking for an interview regularly for nearly two years.— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) August 27, 2021
when in doubt, go to the national media— Jeremy B. White (@JeremyBWhite) August 27, 2021
Let’s call it like it is: the governor has very little interest in speaking to news outlets whose primary subscribers/audience are his constituents. https://t.co/ojSb5gQN0y— John Myers (@johnmyers) August 27, 2021
The governor has repeatedly declined Sacramento press access, including every interview I've asked for this year. He much prefers national media, if you look at his calendars. Meanwhile, he has avoided the Sacramento Press Corps for much of the recall campaign. https://t.co/guJ9TPst3J— Angela Hart (@ahartreports) August 27, 2021
In the interview with The Atlantic, Newsom acknowledges the distinct possibility that he could lose the recall election.
“When I met with Newsom, he was taking the polls seriously. ‘I’m now feeling the weight of this decision, and a weight of responsibility to defeat this, and also the responsibility that if we fall short, I’m going to own that,’ he said. He mentioned to me some of his recent initiatives, including the injection of billions of dollars of federal relief money into 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.'”