WH Claims West Coast Trip for Spending Bills, Not Newsom Campaign President Joe Biden (L) and Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., (R) talk on the tarmac at Mather Airport on Sept. 13, 202. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Monday, 13 September 2021 05:55 PM
Timing may be everything as President Joe Biden heads west to view wildfire damage and purportedly to push his agenda, including two bills before Congress totaling some $5 trillion, rather than campaigning to block the recall of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom in tomorrow’s election.
Biden was scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Long Beach Monday, just one day before Californian’s head to the polls to determine Newsom’s fate, possibly removing and replacing him.
"I'll leave, you know, all of the speculation about our visit with Gov. Newsom, and so I'm not going to go into speculation about anything further than that," White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday afternoon. "We endorsed the governor, the vice president and the president, and I'll leave it there."
In a Washington Examiner story Monday, Jean-Pierre said that the president “can manage competing priorities at the same time.”
"I'm not going to go into any reasoning why he's going now, instead of two, three weeks ago," she said. "Our focus is really making sure that we're doing the work of the people. The president says himself he's a president for all, for everyone, for people who have voted for him and didn't vote for him. So that is the most important thing."
Biden’s trip and rally for Newsom seem perfectly timed as a last word on the recall election, and an exclamation point following Vice President Kamala Harris’s jaunt to her home state for a Sept. 8 appearance for the embattled governor that she called an attempt by conservatives to oust the Democrat from power.
"They think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere," Harris told a crowd of supporters and union members during a Newsom rally in San Leandro. "Well, we’ll show them you are not going to get this done – not here – not ever."
Petitioners from the conservative group Patriot Coalition gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on Newsom after rising crime, homelessness, wildfires, and strict restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic angered many in the state.
The voting Tuesday will determine first, if Newsom should be removed from office, and if so, then who should replace him.
Among the field of challengers are Caitlyn Jenner and conservative radio host Larry Elder.
Currently, the FiveThirtyEight political website gives Newsom almost 17 percentage points to stay in office, 57.5% to 40.8% as of Sept. 12.
Support for Newsom has grown in the last month where the question was split evenly between removing or keeping him with just a 0.2% difference on Aug. 11, according to the site.