State Watch

Newsom: Presidential bid has ‘100 percent never been on my radar’

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) speaks at a ‘Vote No on Recall' rally at the IBEW-NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in San Leandro, Calif., on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
UPI Photo

Following his dominating performance in Tuesday’s recall election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said a presidential bid has “100 percent never been on my radar.”

During an interview on Thursday with CBS chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, Newsom was asked if the results of the recall had accelerated or diminished aspirations to become president.

“Literally 100 percent never been on my radar. Was never a childhood dream,” Newsom told Garrett.

“Just to be clear, Gov. Newsom has no presidential ambitions?” Garrett asked.

“None, none, never,” Newsom answered, adding after further prodding that it’s “a very challenging environment in Washington, D.C., but that’s not on my cards.”

The comments may dull speculation that the Democratic governor, thrust into the national spotlight by the effort to oust him, could be a future contender for the White House. 

On Tuesday, Newsom became the first California governor to overcome a recall vote, which he characterized as a Republican power grab. Those who supported his removal cited his aggressive handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as worsening wildfires and power outages. 

Discontent with Newsom seemed to peak after he attended a 12-person party at the haute French Laundry restaurant in November, in seeming violation of his own strict COVID-19 measures. Newsom has since apologized

Leading up to the recall vote, Newsom received on-the-ground support from Vice President Harris and President Biden, who stumped for the governor on Monday. 

“California, I’m not sure you know it, but if you didn’t know it you should. The eyes of the nation — this is not hyperbole — the eyes of the nation are on California,” Biden said in Long Beach, Calif., on Monday.

“You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you’ll get Donald Trump,” Biden later added, referring to Larry Elder, the conservative talk radio host who was the leading candidate to replace Newsom had Newsom been recalled.

Tags California Donald Trump Gavin Newsom Gavin Newsom Joe Biden recall vote

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