California Governor Gavin Newsom brushed off NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd’s request to challenge President Joe Biden in the Democrat primaries of the next presidential election.
Todd had asked Newsom if he was considering a run during a sit-down interview, pointing out that Newsom’s political hero, Bobby Kennedy, ran against incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.
Todd went on to argue that Kennedy’s success proved taking a bold stance sometimes meant running against established incumbents. However, Newsom disagreed and was clear in his support for Biden.
“I think Joe Biden is gonna be a great president. I’m cheering him on, I’m supporting him. I think he’s doing a great job,” Newsom said.
The Californian governor dismissed Todd’s suggestion as premature, reminding viewers that the 2024 election is three and a half years away. Newsom’s comments appear to signal his intent to campaign for Biden rather than challenge him in the primaries.
This latest attempt by Todd to spin a story to aid the Biden campaign and the Democrat Party is indicative of the President’s wobbly poll numbers. Biden’s approval rating was far from the giddying heights Obama achieved in his reelection campaign of 2012 and seems to be steadily going south.
It appears possible that Todd’s suggestion was picked up by other media outlets in search of storylines to boost Biden’s chances, despite Newsom’s resounding dismissal of the idea.
Although any primary challenge can unsettle governing parties eager to win elections, Newsom’s move may spell bad news for Biden and the Democratic party if it proves to be the tip of the iceberg for such challenges. In this election climate, Biden’s team will be more than eager to prevent challenges from within the party to potentially upset their path to the White House.
It’s clear that Todd’s latest bit of political trickery isn’t working this time. Newsom’s decision to support the Biden campaign will be a welcome development for the Biden camp and Democrats. The fact that Newsom openly ruled out a challenge for the presidency is likely to put Joe Biden in a slightly better position as he fumbles forward into 2021.