Newsom confirmed on September 2 that the president will join him in California ahead of the recall election on September 14, telling reporters at a campaign stop in San Francisco that he is “humbled” by Biden’s support.
Biden has already publicly backed the Democrat governor, praising him for leading California through an “unprecedented crisis” in an August 13 statement.
“He is a key partner in fighting the pandemic and delivering economic relief to working families and helping us build our economy back better than ever,” Biden added.
“He’s taking on the climate crisis and standing up for the rights of women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ community. He knows how to get the job done because he’s been doing it. And to keep him on the job, registered California voters should vote no on the recall election by September 14 and keep California moving forward.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her August 25 briefing that the president “does still plan to go and campaign” for Newsom.
However, the White House has still not said when and where the president will join Newsom on the campaign trail.
Over the weekend, Kamala Harris‘ spokeswoman Symone Sanders tweeted that the vice president will travel to the Bay Area on Wednesday, September 8 to campaign for Newsom. It is unclear if Biden will also be with Harris in California later this week.
Harris was previously set to join Newsom at a campaign rally in August, but had to cancel it following the terrorist attack at Kabul airport in Afghanistan which killed more than 180 people, including 13 U.S. service members.
As previously noted by Politico, Biden’s continuing criticism and negative polling over his handling of the withdrawal and evacuation operation in Afghanistan may have delayed the president’s decision to campaign for Newsom.
“Dozens of California school children remain stranded in Afghanistan, abandoned by this Administration,” California Republican Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson tweeted after the governor confirmed Biden will soon join him on the trail.
“A joint campaign event to save Gavin Newsom ‘s job should not be POTUS’ or Newsom’s priority right now.”
A recent poll by Public Policy Institute of California found that 58 percent of voters back Newsom to remain as governor, with only 39 percent warning to oust him.
Another survey of 782 likely voters from Change Research also backed the current governor, with 57 percent saying they do not want him removed from office, compared to 42 percent who will vote “yes” to remove him on September 14.
The White House has been contacted for comment.