(Bloomberg) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom has made it clear to President Joe Biden he wouldn’t challenge him for the 2024 presidential nomination, Politico reported.
Newsom described conversations with first lady Jill Biden and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, telling them he’d back a Biden re-election bid. “I’m all in, count me in,” he told them -- and relayed the same message to Biden on election night this month, according to an interview with Politico.
Newsom’s decision follows a better-than-expected showing by Democrats in the US midterm elections, where Republican candidates who ran on false claims that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential vote lost key races.
While Biden has strong support within his party, his age -- he turned 80 on Nov. 20 -- has fueled questions about whether he will seek a second term. That question has put Democrats on alert for anyone positioning to challenge Biden or run to succeed him if he bows out. Newsom said he wouldn’t run for president in 2024 even if Biden doesn’t, according to Politico.
The White House declined to comment on the report.
Newsom, 55, is arguably the highest-profile Democratic governor, sparring with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis -- a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender -- and chastising his party for losing the messaging battle too often to Republicans.
Newsom has batted away or sidestepped questions about his presidential ambitions, but has left no daylight between himself and Biden, saying the president’s term so far has been a “master class” in governance.
--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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