California governor Gavin Newsom (D) has put to rest rumors of 2024 ambitions, saying he is “all in” on supporting President Joe Biden’s re-election.
The governor has been seen as a leading candidate to replace Biden, who turned 80 this month, but Newsom appears to be falling in line with his party.
Newsom dismisses rumors
The governor spoke of his “reverence and respect” for Biden as well as vice president and former San Francisco prosecutor Kamala Harris, who is now widely seen as a liability to the Biden White House, calling her an “old friend.”
The weaknesses of Harris and the party’s lackluster 2024 bench in general had left some looking to Newsom as the answer to the party’s problems, but the governor told Politico that he is “all in” for Biden, who became the first octogenarian president this month.
“I’m all in, count me in,” Newsom said, adding he had relayed his support to the White House.
The California governor’s aggressive brand of liberalism, which has seen him attack Republican rising stars like Florida governor Ron DeSantis, has fueled rumors that Newsom has his eyes on the White House. While Newsom’s ambitions are fairly obvious, it appears he is putting those ambitions on hold.
A reporter for Politico overheard Newsom telling Biden over the phone on Election Night, “I’m all in; put me in coach.”
“I hope he runs”
The governor joins the ranks of leading Democrats who are rallying behind Biden as the party’s best hope to defeat Donald Trump in 2024, despite Biden’s age.
Many Democrats have been encouraged about Biden’s prospects after the party evaded a widely anticipated rebuke in the midterm elections. Biden has been feeling his oats, too, after the “red wave” sputtered, and he reportedly believes he is the only Democrat who can defeat Trump.
Newsom endorsed that theory, telling Politico that he will back Biden “enthusiastically.”
“He not only beat Trump once, I think he can beat him again,” he said. “I hope he runs, I’ll enthusiastically support him.”
Newsom did not close the door on 2028, according to Politico, even as he committed to staying out of 2024 regardless of whether Biden retires.