Biden Backs California Gov. Newsom as Recall Election Looms

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 13, 2021 Updated: August 13, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday publicly backed California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is in danger of being recalled next month.

Newsom “is leading California through unprecedented crises—he’s a key partner in fighting the pandemic and helping build our economy back better,” Biden said of his fellow Democrat in a statement.

“To keep him on the job, registered voters should vote no on the recall election by 9/14 and keep California moving forward,” Biden added.

Newsom shared the statement on social media, telling Biden he was grateful for the support.

“There’s simply too much at stake—vote NO on September 14th to reject this Republican led recall,” the first-term governor said.

The endorsement came after White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington that Biden isn’t following the recall “particularly close.”

“But we certainly support Gov. Newsom and have worked with him on a range of key issues, whether it’s the pandemic, addressing wildfires, growing the economy, and look forward to continuing to do so,” she said.

Some Republicans panned Biden’s endorsement.

“Gavin Newsom keeps turning to Washington, D.C. politics whenever he’s in trouble, but they can’t save him from this recall,” former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

“Newsom has made our state unaffordable for middle class families, unsafe for average people to safely walk the streets, and unrecognizable from the Golden State we all know and love,” he added.

Faulconer is one of the Republican candidates who voters could choose to replace Newsom if he is removed from office next month.

Kevin Faulconer
Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, speaks during a news conference in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles on Feb. 2, 2021. (Jae C. Hong, File/AP Photo)

Voters will head to the polls after a recall campaign gathered enough signatures to trigger a recall election.

Critics say Newsom’s policies have contributed to rising crime and an increase in homelessness in the state.

They also say the harsh measures he imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as forcing the shutdown of some businesses, was an overreach.

‘High unemployment, surging crime, increasing unaffordability. In Gavin Newsom’s California, the California Dream doesn’t exist,” Jessica Millan Patterson, the California Republican Party’s chairwoman, said on Thursday.

Voters will be faced with two questions on the ballot. First, they answer whether Newsom should be recalled. Then, they pick who would replace him if he is booted from his post.

The list of candidates does not include any prominent Democrats. A slew of notable Republicans, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and political commentator Larry Elder, an EpochTV host, are on the list.

Elder leads in recent polls, but the California GOP declined to endorse a candidate in a recent meeting.

Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, trounced Republican John Cox in 2018, bringing in nearly 62 percent of the vote.

But even some Democrats have grown weary of his missteps, such as dining in an enclosed tent while urging Californians to refrain from going out during one of the most challenging periods of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six percent of Democrat likely voters told pollsters with the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies last month that they plan to vote yes on the recall question. Ninety-five percent of Republicans and about 57 percent of others said they plan to recall Newsom.

California hasn’t had a Republican governor since 2011, when Arnold Schwarzenegger left office due to term limits.

Schwarzenegger first became governor after voters chose him to replace Gray Davis, a Democrat they recalled.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.