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Former CA governor urges women to 'take a second look' at Romney

Former Governor of California, Pete Wilson, stops by AirTalk to speak with Larry Mantle at the 2012 Republican National Convention on Aug. 28, 2012.
Former Governor of California, Pete Wilson, stops by AirTalk to speak with Larry Mantle at the 2012 Republican National Convention on Aug. 28, 2012.
Lauren Osen/KPCC

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Republican Pete Wilson, who served as the 36th Governor of California, has a long history of serving in the public sphere. In addition to being governor, he also served as a United States Senator, the Mayor of San Diego and on the California Assembly.

He sat down for a quick interview with Larry Mantle at the Republican National Convention:

Interview Highlights:

On California's role in the Republican sphere:
"It's in the background, obviously it's not a swing state, we have seen very little advertising on either side, because of their concentration on the swing states and we understand that. There is a great desire behind the people backing Mitt Romney and I think he's going to win, I think it's going to be an exciting race, not unlike that between President Reagan and President Carter. Three weeks out it was pretty close then it started to open up after the last debate and wound up being a landslide to Reagan."

On why women should give Mitt Romney a chance:
"I think that if they see this entire convention, women are going to have to, if they're honest, take a second look. Those who have felt that [Romney] is not sympathetic to women I think are going to have to revise that. I watched a CNN special the other night, part of it was an interview with Ann Romney about her multiple sclerosis, and about [Mitt's] reaction to it, his comfort to her and his concern. It showed me something I've never seen before. Frankly anyone who is not touched by that interview is pretty cynical and pretty determined not to give somebody a break."

On the fallout from the failure of Prop. 187:
"The only regret that I have is that a number of people for very crass political reasons totally misrepresented the issue. [They] ignored the real issues that stemmed from illegal immigration, which had to do with the cost to state taxpayers of federally mandated services and what really came from that was a deliberate effort to play the race card, which I find contemptible. I think it lead to a great many people in California coming to the false conclusion, a great many Latinos, that they were surrounded by bigots. People who did not want them. Nothing can be further from the truth. The issue was not one of race, it was the rule of law and culture and the need for people who are going to be naturalized to become citizens."

On being Chairman of the California Republican delegation:
"I have the honor of being the chair of the delegation, It is a large delegation in fact the largest. A very upbeat, very excited group of people here having a very good time and genuinely excited at the prospect of nominating MItt Romney and Paul Ryan."

Weigh In:

What is his take on the GOP convention kick-off? How is Mitt Romney shaping up as a candidate? And California could use some of his insight as well. What’s Wilson’s perspective on the current state of politics in the Golden State? With the state still struggling economically across the board, what friendly advice can the man who left California with a $16 billion budget surplus after his governorship suggest to Gov. Jerry Brown and other state lawmakers?


Pete Wilson, Republican who served as the 36th Governor of California (1991-1999)

Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter joins us to discuss Roll Call