Gavin Newsom praised Joe Biden effusively, saying the 80-year-old had given “a masterclass” in governance and dismissed fears about his age.
California’s governor is suspected of stoking White House aspirations, but he asserted Monday that the president was the best man for the job, scoffing at questions about whether he planned to challenge him.
Only a third of voters think Biden will stay in office for a second term if re-elected, and CNN’s Dana Bash asked Newsom if voters should be concerned.
“Voters have every right to be concerned,” he said. “But Bobby Kennedy said it very well: what the world needs are the qualities of youth, not a period of life but a state of mind. A quality of imagination.
“I could not have imagined three years ago that this president could accomplish so much in such a short time.” He said he wanted “a season-long pro who knows how to get things done.”
Gavin Newsom told CNN on Monday that he wasn’t concerned about Joe Biden’s age and that he wanted “a seasoned pro” in the White House.
President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom are pictured in San Francisco in June
Newsom continued: “And the results are there: it’s been a masterclass. No administration in my lifetime has been more effective in producing more substantial results.
Biden, 80, is the oldest person ever elected president, and his age worries many voters across the political spectrum. A poll last month found that 77% of Americans – including 69% of Democrats – think Biden is too old for a second term.
He said Kamala Harris was essential to Biden’s success – despite her widespread unpopularity.
Newsom, 55, and Harris, 58, both from California, are old friends. Newsom served as mayor of San Francisco and won two elections as lieutenant governor of California before becoming governor.
Harris was a San Francisco prosecutor who won two local elections as attorney general, before becoming a U.S. senator in 2016.
Some have suggested that Biden should abandon Harris, but Newsom said she is “absolutely” the best person to be his running mate in 2024. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California representative, did not want to say it last week and demurred when asked.
“By definition, if I think this administration over the last two or three years has been one of the most outstanding administrations in recent decades, and she’s a member of the administration, she can claim credit for that. ” “The answer is yes: absolutely.”
Newsom admitted he “doesn’t like” what he heard about Hunter Biden benefiting from his father’s position, but he attacked Republican efforts to impeach Joe Biden as a “joke” and as a “student government.”
Kamala Harris will ‘absolutely’ be Joe Biden’s running mate, Newsom says
Gavin Newsom said Biden and Harris would be the Democratic nominees in 2024
Newsom said he didn’t like Hunter Biden name-swapping his father, but said it was a widespread problem in many sectors of society — and didn’t deserve impeachment .
Biden faces an impeachment inquiry launched by Republicans who investigated his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings in countries including China and Ukraine while his father was vice president.
Newsom said: “I don’t know enough about the details. I mean, I’ve seen a little bit.
“If that’s the new standard, there are a lot of people in a lot of sectors, not just politics, where people have family members and connections and they’re trying to negotiate a little bit, get a little bit of influence and benefit from it is not unique.
“I don’t like it, any more than you like it or other people, I imagine, like it. We want to see a lot less of this.
But he added: “An impeachment inquiry? Give me a break, it’s student government. It’s a joke. On your marks, shoot, aim. I mean, it’s a perversity compared to what the founding fathers ever conceived and imagined. So if that’s the best they can do, give me a break.
A potential Newsom 2024 bid has become a concern for Democrats worried about Biden’s advanced age and anemic poll numbers.
The California governor has recently made a name for himself by making appearances in other states, taking an official trip to China and agreeing to debate 2024 Republican candidate Ron DeSantis.
But in running himself in 2024, Newsom said, “The answer is no. No ambiguity. I’m not that guy. This is simply not the case.
He added that Democrats should stop “navel-gazing about Joe Biden” and “go for it.”
“Let’s get on the train. This train has left the proverbial station,” Newsom said.
Bash asked Newsom to comment on Donald Trump’s hesitation on abortion rights.
On Sunday, Trump said he did not support the six-week bans and called some of the state’s policies “terrible.”
“I would sit down with both sides and negotiate something and we would achieve peace on this issue for the first time in 52 years,” Trump said.
Gavin Newsom is seen speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash
Trump accused Democrats of supporting abortion “until and after birth.”
Newsom responded: “What does that mean? After birth? It’s made up – it’s a political matter. People do not seek abortion after birth.
“It doesn’t depend on Donald Trump or me. It’s for women who need it. The reality is that it’s a political canard: it’s stupidity.
Currently, California allows abortion up to 24 weeks. “It’s not our role to make that decision,” Newsom added.
“They don’t believe in the fundamental choice and freedom of women. I’m not surprised Donald Trump would say that.
Newsom said it was “offensive” to exploit the “terrible pain” when a baby was not viable and had to be aborted late.
“No one wants to see late-term abortions. In these extremely rare and personal circumstances, one thing I absolutely believe in is that Donald Trump should not make this decision, I should not make this decision.
“It’s for a woman and her doctor.” Kayleigh McEnany, who served as Trump’s White House press secretary, condemned Newsom for his remarks.
“Gavin Newsom refuses to say there should be any limits on abortion,” she wrote on X.
“A baby feeling pain has absolutely no importance in their calculations. This is all just a “political canard”. It is the Democrats who approve of abortion up to birth.