California Gov. Gavin Newsom is dismissing speculation that he may challenge President Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024 – reportedly telling POTUS himself that he is "all in" on Biden’s re-election.
In an interview with Politico, Newsom sought to tamp down speculation that he may run for the Democratic nomination after what the outlet said was "considerable" irritation from the White House at rumors he was plotting a run to oust Biden.
"I’ve told everyone in the White House, from the chief of staff to the first lady," he said, saying his message is "I’m all in, count me in" on Biden's re-election bid.
Talk of a potential Newsom 2024 bid had fired up in recent months amid growing concern from Democrats about Biden’s health, age and low approval ratings. Fears about how Biden would fare in a 2024 fight against former President Donald Trump, or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, had led some Democrats to begin looking for a potential replacement, and Newsom's name had been floated as a possible option.
That concern has likely dissipated somewhat after a stronger-than-expected performance by Democrats in the November midterms, where Democratic fears of a Republican "red wave" did not come to fruition. Democrats have kept hold of the Senate, and while they lost control of the House, Republicans will only gain a slim majority. As a result, Biden's position appears stronger than it did in the summer.
Biden said during a post-election press conference that it is his intention to run for re-election and that he will make a final decision by early next year.
"I think everybody wants me to run, but we’re going to have discussions about it," Biden said. "I hope Jill and I get a little time to sneak away for a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my guess is it will be early next year when we make that judgment."
Newsom had also fueled speculation he might run by repeatedly launching public attacks on DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. But the governor, who comfortably won re-election in deep-blue California, is said to have stepped outside his motorcade near a Sacramento hotel on Election Night and called Biden to express his support personally for his re-election bid.
"I’m all in; put me in coach," Newsom said. "We have your back."
According to Politico, Newsom did not intend for the outlet’s reporter to hear the conversation, but he coincidentally was leaving the same hotel when he was taking the call.
The outlet reported that a Trump comeback has become the top priority for the party and explains why Biden has been given so much leeway by his party during a difficult 2022. And now, one of his biggest potential primary threats is on record with his full-backing for Biden 2024 – specifically mentioning his record in defeating the former president.
"He not only beat Trump once, I think he can beat him again," Newsom said. "I hope he runs, I’ll enthusiastically support him."
Fox News' Patrick Hauf contributed to this report.