President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE on Wednesday congratulated California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomBiden administration launches new national initiative to fight homelessness Equity is key to resilience — three ways make it a priority Juan Williams: Shame on the anti-mandate Republicans MORE (D) on soundly defeating a recall effort, with the White House hailing it as a validation of its approach to controlling the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden had not spoken to Newsom as of Wednesday afternoon, but was expected to do so either late in the day or later in the week, press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Rocky US alliances as Biden heads to UN assembly Five things to watch as Biden heads to the UN Biden to get COVID-19 booster on camera once fully approved MORE told reporters.
"This vote is a resounding win for the approach that he and I share to beating the pandemic: strong vaccine requirements, strong steps to reopen schools safely, and strong plans to distribute real medicines—not fake treatments—to help those who get sick," Biden said in a statement.
"The fact that voters in both traditionally Democratic and traditionally Republican parts of the state rejected the recall shows that Americans are unifying behind taking these steps to get the pandemic behind us."
Psaki called Wednesday's vote a "resounding victory for Gov. Newsom, but also for a science-based approach to fighting the pandemic."
With about two-thirds of the expected vote in, 64 percent of California voters voted "no" on the recall question, keeping Newsom in office for the remainder of his first-term. The margin is likely to shrink some in the coming days, as more votes are counted.
Republicans rallied support and gathered signatures to get the recall on the ballot largely over frustration with Newsom's aggressive pandemic policies that put restrictions on businesses and public gatherings. But Newsom overwhelmingly won voters who said fighting the pandemic was their top issue.
Biden campaigned alongside Newsom in Long Beach on Monday on the eve of the final day of voting, where he encouraged Californians to send a message rejecting GOP pandemic policies and likened Newsom's top challenger, conservative radio host Larry Elder, to a "Trump clone."
Vice President Harris, who also campaigned with Newsom in the closing days of the race, congratulated the governor in a statement of her own.
"In resoundingly rejecting this recall attempt, California’s voters made it clear that the American people want leaders who stand for women’s rights, voting rights, and workers’ rights," Harris said.
Updated at 3:30 p.m.