After confirming his intention to seek an unprecedented fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown said he was running because he believed he had been successful in shepherding the state during his tenure but had unfinished business.
“Well, I like this kind of work. I’ve been doing it now for quite a bit of time,” Brown told CBS News’ Scott Pelley in an interview that aired Friday evening.
“But I’ve had some success and I see great opportunities, even still -- in building a high-speed rail, in taking care of our water needs, in fixing our unfunded pensions and actually making our prison realignment work and making a reality out of our returning power to local schools,” the governor said.
Those issues -- notably high-speed rail, pensions and prison policies -- are the subjects on which Brown’s GOP rivals have chosen to attack him. But Brown has a steep advantage in his reelection bid because of his popularity, the state’s Democratic tilt and the more than $17 million he has raised.
The interview, about the state’s drought and Brown’s political career, took place after Brown announced his candidacy Thursday.
Asked about the difference between his current tenure and his time as governor in the 1970s, Brown said he had matured.
“Lots of years, lots of decades, lots of experiences,” Brown said. “I know better what works. I have a sense that things take a longer time. Now I can look back to 1974 -- that was 40 years ago -- and can see how long it takes to actually get things done.
“I’m working on projects that I started when I was governor the first time. So I would say the difference is I have more patience,” he said.
He noted that he sought the White House in 1976, two years after he was elected governor. “I was in a big hurry,” he said.
Brown, who has run for president three times, confirmed that he had no intention of seeking the presidency in 2016. Rumors had percolated about a possible run, but he quashed them in remarks to reporters in California earlier this year.
“I am very excited about being governor,” Brown told Pelley. “I’m being successful, and I understand you’ve got to stick to things and work -- not just day-by-day, but year-by-year. And that’s where my heart is, right here in California.”
The 75-year-old acknowledged that his time for seeking the nation’s top post had passed. When Pelley asked Brown if that was a definitive no on running for president, Brown replied, “You can construe it as such.”