President Joe Biden will campaign for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a fellow Democrat, next week ahead of a Sept. 14 recall election date that could see Newsom ousted in favor of a GOP candidate, according to a White House spokesperson.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden would go to California “early next week” and said more information would be provided about the trip.
“He will be, I expect we’ll have more to report to all of you, or announce, on a trip he’ll take early next week,” Psaki told reporters in response to a question about whether he will try to stump for Newsom.
Biden is also scheduled to travel to three memorial sites to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Vice President Kamala Harris, a former senator and attorney general from California, will campaign for Newsom on Wednesday, according to Newsom’s campaign team. Harris is scheduled to hold an event for the governor in the San Francisco Bay Area, the team said.
If more than half of voters support Newsom’s recall, he will be removed from office and the top-polling candidate will replace him. Newsom’s team, in recent days, began targeting conservative radio and EpochTV host Larry Elder after polling showed he may be the front-runner in the race.
The president already publicly backed Newsom and praised him for his state’s response to COVID-19.
“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 said in recent remarks.
Proponents of Newsom’s recall, however, have criticized the governor for engaging in hypocritical behavior during the height of the pandemic by dining maskless with 22 guests at the upscale French Laundry restaurant, state-mandated shutdowns that harmed small businesses, not handling well a burgeoning homelessness crisis, mandatory mail-in balloting, and more.
After it was confirmed that Biden would travel to California to boost Newsom, California’s Republican Party panned the president for not focusing on rescuing Americans in Afghanistan.
“Dozens of California school children remain stranded in Afghanistan, abandoned by this Administration,” California Republican Party Chair Jessica Millan Patterson wrote on Twitter. “A joint campaign event to save Gavin Newsom ‘s job should not be POTUS’ or Newsom’s priority right now.”
In July, Biden went to Virginia to boost support for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is running to become the state’s next governor.