Newsom heads east for meeting with Biden as president tries to keep his campaign from heading south

Two-term California Gov. Gavin Newsom travels on Wednesday to the nation's capital, to take part in a meeting President Biden has called with the nation's Democratic governors in the wake of Biden's extremely rough performance during last Thursday's debate with former President Trump.

"Governor Newsom will head to the White House tomorrow to attend the Governors meeting and to stand with the President," a spokesperson for the California governor said late Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden is greeted by California Governor Gavin Newsom upon arrival at Moffett Federal airfield in Mountain View, California, on June 19, 2023. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Gett

Biden, who at age 81 is the oldest president in the nation's history, is facing the roughest stretch of his bid for a second term in the White House. This, after his halting delivery and stumbling answers at the debate, sparked widespread panic in the Democratic Party and spurred calls from political pundits, editorial writers and in party donors for Biden to step aside as the party's 2024 standard-bearer. In the past 24 hours, a small but growing number of elected Democrats have also urged the president to end his re-election bid.

RELATED: New York Times editorial board calls for Biden to drop out: His candidacy is a 'reckless gamble'

Biden's meeting Wednesday at the White House, which is also expected to include Democratic congressional leaders, comes after Democrat governors on Monday huddled on a conference call to discuss the fallout from the debate.

Monday's call was organized by Democratic Governors Association (DGA) Chair Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota. Sources told Fox News that the Biden campaign was aware of the call ahead of time.

A number of the governors, including some who've been speculated as potential replacements on the extreme long-shot chance that Biden would step away from his re-election bid, have acknowledged the president's debate performance was shaky but remained committed to supporting the president.

RELATED: Biden acknowledges debate performance: 'I know how to do this job'

Newsom, who was in Atlanta, Georgia for last week's debate, told reporters in the spin room after the showdown that "I will never turn my back on President Biden, and I don't know a Democrat in my party that would do so. And especially after tonight, we have his back."

And Newsom, who's a top Biden campaign surrogate, said "none" when asked if he had any concerns about Biden's fitness for office: "I have no trepidation."

In the days since the debate, Newsom has continued to defend the president, and helped raise several hundred thousand dollars for Biden's campaign and the Democratic National Committee immediately after the debate. And the governor has also continued to push aside the intense speculation about whether he would replace Biden on the national ticket.

Two other top Biden surrogates, Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and JB Pritzker of Illinois, who are also speculated as potential replacements, are also expected take part in Wednesday's meeting.

RELATED: Democrats concerned over Biden's wellbeing

Pritzker, in an interview with CNN on Wednesday night, said of Biden: "He's our nominee. And so, unless he makes a different decision, I'm on board, and I'm supporting the president."

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