He acknowledged that he has “a lot more to learn,” the Post reported.
“The more I know, the more I can do,” he told the newspaper, adding, “I want to heal that pain, and I want to make sure that all Virginians have equal opportunity … and I think I’m the person that can do that for Virginia.”
Now aware his past actions have been “very offensive,” Northam told the Post Saturday he has directed his Cabinet to draw up proposals to tackle inequality in Virginia.
“It’s obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do. There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity,” Northam told the newspaper, adding, “It has really raised the level of awareness for racial issues in Virginia. And so we’re ready to learn from our mistakes.”
“If I had it to do over, I would step back and take a deep breath,” he said, the Post reported.
Northam plans to embark on a “reconciliation tour” around the state to engage in discussions about race and healing, the Post reported.
He also vowed to “take a harder line” on Confederate statues in Virginia and to implement sensitivity training in his government, according to the Post.
When asked by the Post if a portrait of a former Virginia governor who defended slavery should be removed from the governor’s mansion, Northam replied, “Well, I think that’s an important part of history, and we need to tell all history. We have good history in Virginia … and we have history that’s not good, and I don’t think we can shy away from any of it. We must tell it all, we must put it in perspective.”
CNN’s Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.