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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who pops up from time to time to snipe at Gov. Jerry Brown, suggested today that his fellow Democrat lacks a "vision for greatness" and is "not necessarily the most collaborative executive," and he criticized social service cuts Brown has proposed.

"We've got a governor who is doing a very good job focusing on solvency," the former San Francisco mayor, who dropped out of the gubernatorial race in 2010, said on KQED Radio's Forum. "But what we need is a vision for greatness again."

Brown and Newsom have a distant relationship, and about the warmest thing Newsom would say about Brown today is that he is a "unique person" and "in many respects a brilliant political tactician."

As he has before, Newsom said he was disappointed by proposed cuts to early education and welfare programs. But he also suggested that he could do better, and that he had an answer for the administration when asked what budget measures he might come up with instead.

"You give me your finance team, give me the controller, and give me your department heads, and give me 48 hours," Newsom said, "and I'll come up with them."

Brown spokesman Gil Duran declined to comment, except to say, "We stay busy over here in the governor's office."


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