California Gov. Newsom again rejects idea he will run to be Biden’s replacement

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has repeatedly denied or downplayed rumors that he intends to run for president in 2024, and he reiterated that stance once again in a Tuesday interview, The Hill reported.

Newsom’s name has been floated as a potential replacement for President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s nominee in the next presidential cycle, given the widespread speculation that, for any number of reasons, the incumbent president can’t or won’t seek a second term in the White House.

“Not the moment”

Gov. Newsom recently spoke with CBS News correspondent Major Garrett while out campaigning on behalf of fellow Democrats who face tough election fights in California and elsewhere around the country, and naturally was asked about his alleged ambitions for the presidency.

“It’s not my ambition,” the governor insisted. “It’s not the direction that I’m leaning into. It’s not the moment.”

The reporter attempted to unequivocally pin Newsom down on the topic and said, “So one way to answer that question is ‘I will never run for President [of the] United States.’ Can you say that?” Newsom replied, “Yeah, I have no interest.”

“Fear” of GOP majority

The Democratic governor of California also acknowledged in that CBS News interview that a Republican “red wave” was likely coming in the midterm elections, but blamed that potential reality on a lack of effective messaging by Democrats and not a failure or public rejection of the party’s policies.

“You feel it,” Newsom said of the likely impending GOP victories nationwide. “And it goes to my fundamental grievance with my damn party. We’re getting crushed on narrative. We’re going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense.”

The California governor went on to express “fear” at the prospect of a Republican majority in Congress and said the notion that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could be the next House Speaker “scares the hell out of me.”

As for President Biden and the job he has done thus far, Newsom said, “I don’t think there’s been two years of more effective policy-making of a modern American president,” and added, “It’s been a masterclass the last two years, not necessarily in effective communication and generating narrative, but in terms of the substance under the circumstance, with all the headwinds, the obfuscation and opposition. I think it’s been remarkable.”

Still a likely candidate

As previously noted, Gov. Newsom has repeatedly shot down questions with regard to him possibly running in 2024, whether as a replacement for President Biden or even in a direct primary challenge for the party’s nomination — but few truly believe that he has no ambitions for the White House.

Hence, despite his protestations to the contrary, Newsom is consistently mentioned in lists and polls about a prospective 2024 Democratic primary field, and that will almost certainly continue to occur no matter what the governor says on the topic.