California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has long denied that he has any plans to challenge President Joe Biden for their party's nomination.
However, many observers insist that the governor's recent actions suggest he is planning to stab Biden in the back.
According to Fox News, the latest example came last week when Newsom traveled to China and met with President Xi Jinping.
Newsom explained that the trip focused on "renewing our friendship and reengaging (on) foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future."
Fox Business reported that Newsom at one point visited the city of Shenzhen where he test-drove a hybrid vehicle produced by Chinese automaker BYD Company.
California Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa told Fox News that the move suggests Newsom is trying to raise his profile while drawing attention away from the crime and homelessness that has flourished under his administration.
"The track record is not good for him to be gallivanting around the world doing basically a shadow campaign for president, just waiting for the moment when they finally decide to throw Biden under the bus," LaMalfa was quoted as saying.
"This trip here, he's trying to build a base. He's running the back channels until Biden takes himself out and the party says man we're going to get killed on this," LaMalfa continued.
The congressman went on to reference a growing number of polls that show President Biden falling behind former President Donald Trump.
"With Trump looking more and more like a likely nominee pulling ahead in most places from what I've seen then the Dems are, I think I saw in our notes here, that they would need to break the glass and reach in for the Newsom fire extinguisher," LaMalfa added.
LaMalfa is not alone in suggesting that Newsom may end up replacing Biden at the top of the Democratic Party's ticket, as conservative commentator Tomi Lahren offered a similar assessment.
But this week’s trip to China is more than climate change and economic partnerships, it is yet another GIANT indicator that Gavin Newsom will indeed run for president next year. https://t.co/BnZecLawjd
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) October 25, 2023
So did activist Benny Johnson, who also took Newsom's China trip as a sign that "Democrats want to replace Joe Biden."
Gavin Newsom was in China today meeting with Xi Jinping, after being in Israel.
Why is the Governor of California going to China to meet with their dictator?
Why is the Governor of California going to Israel during wartime?
Democrats want to replace Joe Biden.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 26, 2023