California gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer talks Newsom recall

The Republican former mayor of San Diego discusses his run for governor in California and his efforts to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
5:31 | 05/11/21

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Transcript for California gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer talks Newsom recall
With the state of California set for a recall, the C. Secretary of state announced the effort to recall governor Gavin Newsom surpassed the number of verified signatures needed to reach the ballot. More than 1.7 million californians signing on. Newsom would be the second governor in that state's history to face such an election. And joining us is one of the candidates hoping to unseat governor Newsom, former mayor of San Diego, Republican governor Kevin Faulconer. Welcome to "Gma3." Thank you for being with us. First of all, tell us where you believe governor Newsom should be recalled and why you believe you are the person to take his job. Hit the nail on the head, over two million californians signed the recall because of the anger and frustration of not just the response to the pandemic here in California. The fact that our economy was open and shut four and five different times, unfortunately not based on science. But I think it's really, it gets to a lot of the key issues that unfortunately we're seeing our great state on the wrong track. Rise in crime, homelessness exploding by double digits. The fact that our kids are still not in school. Our public schools in California are still not open full time. And so I'm looking forward to bring that change at the top. I was elected mayor twice in San Diego. A Republican and a majority Democrat city. Why? Because I know how to bring people together and get results. That's what California needs right now. Why are people leaving the state right now would you say Mr. Mayor for the first time in recorded history that a year just went by that you had people that there was not an increase in the population of California. Some 182,000 people got out of there. Why? And what's gonna take to bring them back? They are, T.J. And I'll tell you, directly, it is because our state's not affordable. It is too expensive to live in California. And people are voting with their feet. And you are right, for the first time we lost a congressional seat. And you name the state where folks are going. Texas, Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Tennessee. There is a long list. We have to get our state more affordable. It is time for genuine tax relief in California which is something I'll be talking a lot about in the coming days ahead. Well, speaking of taxes and expenses, the California association of clerks in elections officials have estimated that a recall election could cost your state as much as $400 million. How do you justify spending that kind of money, that kind of taxpayer money? Amy, because of the urgency of a change we need now in California. And you can trust that number with $30 billion that went out in fraud this year alone in California. $30 billion fraudulently that went out. Many folks, and prisoners and others, that is the type of incompetence and ineptitude that californians have had it with. You've seen so many californians signing that recall petition. It is Democrats, it is independents and Republicans who want a change at top and want to get our state back and functioning again. And we need to get our public schools fully reopened. I say that not just as a candidate for governor but as a dad with two kids in public school who realize they need to be in school, in the classroom, full time. Governor Newsom does want kids back in the fall. He says the majority of schools there do offer at least inperson learning even if they are not taking the option. Also, the state's positivity rate is one of the lowest we've seen in the pandemic. Also there is a $75 billion, $76 billion surplus. I understand some of it is politics. You might not agree with the policies but isn't California, like a lot of places, starting to come out of this and starting to figure out and what do you give governor Newsom credit for in getting the state through it? I will tell you, T.J., what I think californians want and they want a steady hand on the ship which we haven't had. We've had so many changes up and down, changing metrics in California. A color-coded system. A different tier system. Open and closed. And I've said pretty outspokenly we have to save lives but we also have to save livelihoods. And I think that's been the missing ingredient in quotient out here in California. And again we talk about affordability. When we talk about quality of life. You know, the fact that homelessness, which is one of the number one issues in California is exploding by double digits in virtually every city. And yet, in San Diego, we were able to take the firm yet compassionate action to get folks off the street. We reduced homelessness by double digits. That is the type of leadership that I'm talking about. By the way, this is not partisanship. This is about leadership. And I think that's why californians are so hungry to end one party rule we've had in our state for a decade. It's time for different ideas. Time to have somebody who can come in work with Democrats, independents and Republicans and say not only are we going to get you back to work but help clean up California and really lead a comeback. Candidate for governor of California. Kevin Faulconer, thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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