Gavin Newsom Mounts Vigorous Defense of Joe Biden

California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently taken on a more prominent role in President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign as he defends Biden in critical swing states, including in New Hampshire during a Monday stop.

Biden’s campaign team has been working to move past concerns about the incumbent after a damaging debate performance late last month, and the Associated Press (AP) reported that one tactic from the campaign has been to deploy fellow Democrat Newsom to various swing states.

The AP noted that New Hampshire is known both for its traditionally early primaries and as a tiny swing state in general elections with four Electoral College votes, and Newsom’s visit there was seen as an attempt to stabilize Biden’s campaign.

“I decided instead of just rolling over and giving up, that I would step up and pick up the fight,” Newsom told reporters on Monday at a New Hampshire highway rest stop, adding that Biden is “going to be our nominee.”

Newsweek reached out to Biden’s campaign and Newsom’s office via email on Tuesday for comment.

Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom campaigns for President Joe Biden at the Van Buren County Democratic Party’s “BBQ for Biden-Harris” event on July 4, 2024 in South Haven, Michigan. Newsom has recently taken on a more…

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Despite calls from members of his own party to step down, Biden has vowed to stay in the 2024 race. On Friday, he said during an interview with ABC News that he’s “not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump.”

The AP characterized Biden’s relationship with New Hampshire Democrats as “strained,” partly due to his push for the Democratic National Committee to bypass the state earlier this year as the opening contest on the presidential primary calendar. In addition, Biden finished in fifth place in New Hampshire’s 2020 Democratic primary, but he still managed to later secure a general election victory over Trump in the state.

Since last month’s presidential debate, Newsom has campaigned on Biden’s behalf in Michigan and Pennsylvania before New Hampshire. The AP reported that Newsom was also featured on an all-staff Biden campaign conference call on Monday in which he contended that voters still support the president.

Newsom’s name has been among those floated as a potential replacement for Biden should he decide to step down, but the governor dismissed such talk while speaking before the start of a fundraiser for New Hampshire Senate Democrats.

“I think that’s a legitimate question and I respect it, but it’s also exactly the question that Donald Trump is hoping everyone asks as he’s out on the golf course,” Newsom said, per the AP.

He continued, “So to me, that is not a question I’m going to respond to, because Joe Biden is our nominee, he’s our president…And I look forward to voting for him.”