Sean Hannity Broadcasts Separate Interview With California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Sean Hannity Broadcasts Separate Interview With California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom accused Fox News of airing a “doom loop about California” while quibbling with conservative talk show host Sean Hannity over taxes, guns and the state’s population loss, in the second of a two-part interview that aired Friday.

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Mostly interrupting one another, Newsom deflected charges about Californians fleeing the state while Hannity pressed his belief that California would be better off if its leaders applied conservative governance strategies.

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“I would argue to you that if you lower taxes or deregulation standards, California would be a net migration state,” Hannity told Newsom. “But I know you’re not gonna agree with that.”

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Newsom countered by saying that he was “proud of the fact that working families are treated better than in California than they are in conservative states like Texas.”

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The interview — divided into two segments to bookend the week — gave Newsom another opportunity to boost his national reputation as a leader of the Democrat party. It also allowed Fox News a chance to draw in a new audience and attack Biden by juxtaposing him with California’s governor, who Hannity described as more capable of having such a debate.

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During the first segment, aired Monday night, Newsom and Hannity sparred over the economy, California’s homeless crisis and immigration reform. Hannity also made a point in both segments of questioning whether President Joe Biden was physically fit to be president — and grilling Newsom on how he would handle certain situations if he sat in the Oval Office.

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“How would you have handled the Chinese spy balloon? what would you have done?” Hannity asked Newsom in the segment that aired Friday.

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“I don’t have the details or the knowledge of the nuances involved,” Newsom said, before applauding Biden, his containment policies, and his work uniting NATO.

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The two segments mark Newsom’s latest effort to strengthen his national name recognition and aggressively challenge rhetoric from Republicans. Over the past two years, Newsom has routinely taken jabs at prominent GOP figures such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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He has paid for billboards and television and newspaper ads in Republican-led states criticizing their policies around abortion and gun control. And earlier this year, he launched a political action committee dedicated to electing Democrats in red states.

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The Friday Fox News interview briefly touched on gun reform, with Hannity sharing a personal story about learning gun safety at a young age and Newsom touting California’s efforts to adopt “common sense” gun reform measures.

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“I aspire on gun policy to be Ronald Reagan, who said AK-47s should not be used for defense and he believes in background checks,” Newsom said.

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During his tenure, Newsom has been an outspoken proponent of new restrictions on gun use. Newsom and Democrats in the California legislature are currently working on a second attempt at shoring up California’s concealed carry gun law after a June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down key provisions of the state’s regulations.

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Newsom earlier this month called for a Twenty-Eighth Amendment that would enshrine four “common sense” gun reform measures in the U.S. Constitution — a move that one constitutional law professor said was “essentially impossible.”

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Hannity did not press the governor for any more details about his amendment proposal.

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Maggie Angust covers California politics and Governor Gavin Newsom at the Sacramento Bee. Prior to joining The Bee’s Capitol Bureau, he covered San Jose City Hall for Mercury News and the East Bay Times and then wrote corporate stories for the breaking news team.

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