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Gavin Newsom Slams Jerry Brown: 'We Need A Vision For Greatness' (AUDIO)

Gavin Newsom Jerry Brown

First Posted: 02/ 2/2012 5:16 pm Updated: 02/ 2/2012 6:56 pm

Jeez, Gavin, why don't you tell us how you really feel?

In an interview on KQED's radio forum Wednesday, our favorite governor-in-waiting ripped into our favorite sitting governor, suggesting that Jerry Brown lacks the "vision for greatness" that California needs.

When asked by host Michael Krasny if he was disappointed with Brown's higher education policy, which included billions of dollars in funding cuts in order to help balance the state budget last year, Newsom responded, "it's hard not to be."

“Higher education is the reason this economy has succeeded over the last half-century plus,” he continued. “We are losing that key advantage. You’ve doubled tuition since 2007, you’ve tripled it since 2001, you’re pricing out the middle class. This is a serious code-red crisis."

When asked what steps he might take to tackle California's budget instead, however, Newsom strayed from specifics. "You give me your finance team, give me the controller, and give me your department heads, and give me 48 hours, and I'll come up with them," he said.

He also managed a dig at Brown's ability to work as a team, calling him "not the most collaborative executive." But the former San Francisco mayor did praise our state's leader for being a "unique person" and "in many respects a brilliant political tactician."

Newsom and Brown have had an icy relationship for years, one that only intensified when the pair ran against one another during the 2010 gubernatorial race. Newsom's campaign came out swinging in the beginning, but he eventually stepped aside when it became obvious that Brown would seal the Democratic nomination, setting his sights instead on the second-best option. Yet it's no secret the lieutenant governor has higher political aspirations.

Brown's administration had little to say about Newsom's latest comments. "We stay busy over here in the governor's office," was all spokesman Gil Durand would offer to the Sacramento Bee.

Listen to Newsom's entire appearance on KQED's forum below:

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Filed by Carly Schwartz  |