Newsom under fire for ignoring state's problems while out campaigning for Biden-Harris ticket


President Biden’s apparent inability to energetically campaign has pushed surrogates such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom into extra work rallying for the president — as he faces mounting pressure from his base to drop out — and critics say that’s preventing him from focusing fully on his own state’s woes.

“That could not be more untrue. Everything about this campaign will impact this state disproportionately,” Newsom said during a Wednesday news conference.

This week, Newsom rallied Democrats in Michigan and Pennsylvania before stumping for Biden in New Hampshire — which has been reliably Democratic the last few decades, but now appears to be a 2024 battleground — as part of his swing state tour on the Biden-Harris campaign trail. 

“I think most of America doesn’t understand that Gavin Newsom’s goal is to be president, and it’s always been that,” state Sen. Brian Dahle, who ran against Newsom during the special recall election in 2022, told Fox News Digital in an interview.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom campaigns for President Biden at a Democratic Party event in South Haven, Michigan, on July 4. (Chris duMond/Shutterstock)

“Our budget’s upside down. We have businesses leaving California. You can’t afford to live here, and so those are all things that obviously we need to work on here, and he’s not here to work on those,” Dahle said.

Last month, the state’s Democrat-dominated legislature passed a controversial budget package intended to close an estimated $46.8 billion deficit which Republicans say they were largely left out of. 

Newsom, who has vehemently denied he’s running a “shadow campaign” to replace the president, said during a Biden-Harris rally in Michigan on Thursday that he was tapped by the campaign and has been “going wherever” the Biden administration asks him, and doing “whatever task, large and small, because I believe in this man.”

“I believe in his character,” he said.

Biden’s campaign also held an all-hands conference call on Monday with Democratic National Committee staffers, hoping to address collapsing morale, according to a report. Newsom was present on that call and reportedly urged Biden staffers to “worry less.”

“I plead with you: Worry less, do the work,” Newsom told Biden staffers on the call, according to Axios. “I think there is an old African proverb that says, ‘You wanna go fast, go alone. You wanna go far, go together.’ And that’s what this is all about.”

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Newsom’s recent appearance in Michigan comes as President Biden faces pressure to drop out of the 2024 race. (Chris duMond/Shutterstock)

On Wednesday, however, Newsom held a press conference in California about the state’s excessive heat and large number of wildfires burning. No additional out-of-state travel is on the governor’s public schedule and aides have been briefing him on emergency response decisions and other key issues while he’s being stumping for Biden.

Meanwhile, California continues to lose residents in droves to other conservative states, and its big cities are struggling with lowering crime and reducing homelessness. The Golden State has nearly one-third of the nation’s homeless population, totaling more than 181,000 people living outdoors, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2023 homelessness assessment. 

“You can’t afford to live in California. It’s because we have regulations and just a liberal legislature that continues to drive up the cost of everything,” Dahle said. “And so housing is high, electricity is high, food’s high, everything is higher.”

“The thing about Gavin Newsom is he’ll put out a policy and talk about it and talk about spending money, but none of it’s worked. He spent $20 billion on homelessness, and we did nothing but increase homelessness,” he said.

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“I will never turn my back on President Biden,” Newsom said Thursday in a comment that appeared designed to dispel rumors that he’s running a shadow campaign. (Chris duMond/Shutterstock)

After Biden’s lackluster performance during the debate against former President Trump last month, Newsom was present and assured reporters in the spin room that he remained firmly behind Biden.

“I will never turn my back on President Biden,” Newsom said Thursday in a comment that appeared designed to dispel rumors that he’s running a shadow campaign. “I don’t know a Democrat in my party that would do so. And especially after tonight, we have his back.”

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Leading up to the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, Biden’s mental acuity became the center of political discourse after a bombshell Wall Street Journal report — which the White House dismissed — revealed that many lawmakers on Capitol Hill had questions.

Fox News Digital’s Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report. 



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