Joe Biden opposes campaign to recall California governor Gavin Newsom over COVID response as petition for move grows in momentum
- President Joe Biden opposes an effort in California to recall the state’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom
- Biden ‘clearly opposes any effort to recall Gavin Newsom,’ press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted, after earlier saying she had not spoken to Biden about the recall
- Those backing the recall effort will need to gather 1.5 million valid signatures from Californians before March 17
- Newsom has been criticized for his state’s high COVID-19 numbers, though some backing the effort believe he went overboard on lockdowns
- Others pointed to his birthday dinner at French Laundry, that bucked COVID protocols, the state’s homeless problem and its high taxes
‘In addition to sharing a commitment to a range of issues with @GavinNewsom from addressing the climate crisis to getting the pandemic under control, @POTUS clearly opposes any effort to recall @GavinNewsom,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
Psaki’s tweet comes after she was asked about the president’s stance during the earlier press briefing.
White House press secretary Jen Psaski (left) was asked Tuesday at the press briefing how President Joe Biden felt about the recall effort in California to fire Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom (right)
Press secretary Jen Psaki followed up her initial response with a tweet saying that President Joe Biden is not supportive of any effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has come under fire for California’s coronavirus pandemic response
California Gov. Gavin Newsom could be on the ballot in a recall election if detractors are able to get 1.5 million Californians to sign on to the effort before the deadline of March 27. Newsom’s COVID-19 response has been criticized
‘I have not spoken with the president about the recall, I should say, or the efforts to recall … Gov. Newsom,’ Psaki said then.
‘Obviously he is somebody who he has been engaged with in the past, they have a range of issues they have common agreement on, from the need to address climate change, to put people back to work, to address the COVID crisis,’ she continued. ‘And you know, we remain closely engaged with him and his office.’
Newsom, who for years has been a bright spot in Democratic politics, has been criticized for California’s dismal COVID-19 numbers.
He is also being hammered for the small amount of COVID-19 vaccine being distributed to the state by the federal government, a roll-out that got a bumpy start under the last administration.
California, however, has not done a great job getting shots into arms, ranking 27th among the states in the percentage of vaccines administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘We don’t want to be average,’ Newsom said Wednesday, according to CNN. ‘We want to do more and better.’
The recall is being led by Orrin Heatlie, who worked in the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years, as well as Mike Netter, a former Staples and Corporate Express executive and Robin McCrea, a former budget officer the College of Agriculture at Chico State.
While California’s spike in coronavirus cases has produced national headlines, some people in the state supporting the recall expressed that Newsom had gone overboard with lockdowns.
Another pointed to Newsom’s birthday dinner in a semi-enclosed space at the tony French Laundry restaurant, which went against the area’s COVID-19 protocols, calling the governor’s ‘do as I say and not as I do’ attitude ‘insufferable.’
Others mentioned the state’s homeless problem and high taxes.
Those backing the recall effort will need to gather 1.5 million valid signatures from Californians before March 17.
Newsom previously served as San Francisco’s mayor and then was lieutenant governor of the state.
He had endorsed now Vice President Kamala Harris, a ex-California senator, in the Democratic primary before she dropped out in December 2019.
He later endorsed Biden in May, after the former vice president had wrapped up the Democratic nomination.