California Gov. Gavin Newsom is insisting he won’t challenge President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024, despite persistent rumors that he’s scheming to launch a primary bid.
“It’s frustrating because I have so much reverence and respect for not only the president but the vice president is an old friend,” Newsom told Politico Saturday — apparently suggesting that his entry into the White House race would swamp Vice President Kamala Harris’s ambitions as well.
Newsom said he “told everyone in the White House, from the chief of staff to the first lady … I’m all in, count me in” as a Biden surrogate during a July trip to Washington DC.
That visit, which saw the governor sauntering into the executive mansion in shirtsleeves while Biden was overseas, sparked widespread gossip that Newsom was seeking to boost his national profile as the president’s approval ratings slumped.
Newsom scored an easy re-election win this month after fighting back a recall attempt in 2021.
“I’m willing to take risks, I’m willing to get out” on Biden’s behalf, Newsom said. “Not with any grand ambition except to push back on this narrative and try to reframe this debate and get back on offense.”