President Joe Biden gave rave reviews to his potential understudy California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the APEC summit Wednesday – praising his abilities and saying he has what it takes to do his own job.
‘I want to thank him. He’s been one hell of a governor, man,’ Biden told gathered Asia Pacific leaders, after Newsom warmed up the crowd with lively and fluid remarks where he praised his state’s diversity. ‘Matter of fact he can be anything he wants – he could have the job I’m lookin’ for,’ Biden said amid his own reelection campaign.
Newsom has become a top surrogate for Biden’s campaign, and helped him haul in an estimated $3 million at a San Francisco fundraiser Tuesday night. The president made the comments at the APEC gathering on Wednesday, where in the evening, the president hosted a star-studded event that saw the 80-year-old on stage with rocker Gwen Stefani.
Newsom was previously mentioned as a potential Biden primary challenger, although the campaign now considers him a valuable asset in helping deliver the party message, even as Biden struggles to get his approval ratings over 40 percent. Biden’s politico kudos to Newsom came on a day he said Chinese leader Xi Jinping , who was in attendance, was a ‘dictator.’
Biden, 80, is plowing ahead with his presidential campaign, even while some top Democratic operatives have raised alarm about his poor performance in national polls and some surveys showing him down in swing states and running slightly behind former President Donald Trump, who is battling multiple indictments.
Biden has $71 million in his campaign war chest and decades of experience, but some Democrats think they could do better with a a younger standard-bearer who hasn’t been as defined. Polls show widespread concerns about his handling of the economy, even as inflation drops and unemployment remains at historic lows.
Newsom put some of his won skills on display Wednesday evening, looking trim in his suit and smiling while giving a warm welcome to leaders and hailing California as a ‘dream’ and a ‘coming attraction. His remarks came shortly before Vice President Harris also warmed up the crowd, smiling and running her own political resume, which included stints as District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of the State.
She pointed to four overseas trips to Asia as vice president at a conference meant to strengthen ties in the Indo-Pacific. ‘As Vice President, I have traveled to Indo Pacific countries at least four times over the last few years, I have visited American sailors deployed to Japan and American soldiers at the Korean DMZ,’ said Harris. ‘And I have spent time with many of the world leaders here today in bilateral meetings, and multilateral summits, including at APEC, where I represented the United States in Bangkok last year,’ she said, at an event where Newsom scored his own bilateral meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Biden’s remarks came after he held high-stakes meetings with China’s leader Xi Jinping, raising fraught topics from Taiwan to the Middle East. It came on the second day of a trip that included a warm welcome by Newsom on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport.
At the evening event, Biden got introduced by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, one of several prominent California athletes who took part in a video with San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Visiting leaders were also treated to a performance by Stefani, who serenaded them with ‘Don’t Speak’ and ‘Hollaback Girl.’
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