“We are comparing schedules right now, but we anticipate the President and Vice President will be here in a matter of weeks,” Newsom said at an event in San Francisco.
Biden issued a statement on Thursday backing Newsom’s efforts to stay in office, giving Newsom what his campaign will be a needed push to boost turnout, as recall proponents have so far enjoyed an advantage in awareness and enthusiasm for ousting Newsom from office.
As Newsom has done in the past, he characterized the recall as a Donald Trump-aligned effort to remove him from office, and accused Newsmax, One America News Network, Fox News and Right Side Broadcasting Network of “ginning up support” for it over the past year.
He singled out radio talk host Larry Elder, who has been leading in the polls among potential successors, and went through some of his past statements, including on climate change and women’s rights, as out of sync with the state’s voters. “I could go down a list. He’s to the right of Donald Trump,” Newsom said, indirectly warning of what would happen if Elder became governor and had the power to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate. That is of concern to national Democrats, who worry that the Senate majority would be in peril if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) were to step down.
The ballots, to arrive to California registered voters over the next week or so, will ask two questions — whether Newsom should be recalled, and who should replace him.
The California governor also said that he would vote no on the first question and leave the other question blank. “Just vote no. You don’t even have to touch the other part,” Newsom said.
Some Democrats, like Leon Panetta, have wondered if Newsom’s framing of the recall, as a GOP power grab, has been a mistake. “I’m not sure traditional politics works here,” Panetta told Politico this week, noting voter frustration and fear. In his news conference, Newsom did talk about what his administration has done to address homelessness and the Covid crisis, while touting the recovery, but his focus was on showing that the views of recall proponents and candidates were extreme.
At around the same time, Elder was holding his first press conference as a candidate, via Zoom.
More to come.
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