Critics Blast Newsom as He Flees California Amid Dangerous Wildfires and Brutal Heat Wave

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jul 07, 2024

Many Californians have blasted Governor Gavin Newsom as he has fled the Golden State during a period of intense struggle. Dangerous and potentially deadly wildfires have popped up around the state during the same time a brutal heat wave has caused record temperatures in many counties.

These critics have bashed the governor as he hits the campaign trail for President Joe Biden.

Rampaging California Wildfires

Currently, the Golden State is battling various wildfires. Firefighters around the state are struggling to combat these raging flames. Already, many communities have been forced to evacuate.

A view of a California wildfire seen at night.

Source: Ross Stone/Unsplash

Thousands of Californians have had to leave their homes because these fires have come too close to their communities.


Yet Another Heat Wave

As residents battle these fires, they’re also dealing with yet another heat wave that has caused temperatures to skyrocket in various parts of California.

A silhouette of a tree seen during sunset.

Source: Nelson Santos Jr/Unsplash

Many records have already been broken, thanks to this newest heat wave. A heat record in Death Valley, long touted as one of the hottest places in the entire world, has been shattered, while Palm Springs has hit a never-before-seen high of 124 degrees Fahrenheit.

The California Governor Hits the Campaign Trail

Even though California is going through these difficult times, Governor Newsom has decided to hit the campaign trail for President Biden.

Gavin Newsom speaking in front of a podium outside.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation/Wikimedia Commons

As a result, Newsom isn’t in the state to follow the progress of these difficult heat waves and incredibly dangerous and destructive wildfires.

Critics Sound Off on Newsom

This fact has quickly led many Californians — especially the governor’s critics and Republican opponents in the state’s legislature — to sound off on Newsom.

People seen in front of the California State Capitol in the daytime.

Source: Josh Hild/Unsplash

These detractors have blasted the governor for not being in the state during this particularly difficult week.

A Shadow Presidential Campaign?

Many of these critics believe Newsom is heavily campaigning for Biden because he’s running his own shadow presidential campaign. Jessica Millan Patterson, the chairwoman of the California Republican Party, also expressed this thought.

The White House seen behind a green lawn and trees in the daytime.

Source: David Everett Strickler/Unsplash

She said, “Gov. Newsom has been running a shadow presidential campaign for quite some time.”


Biden’s Uphill Battle

Ever since Biden’s bad performance during his televised debate with former President Donald Trump, Newsom has been one of his most vocal supporters.

Joe Biden speaking into a microphone behind a podium in front of an American flag.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, many other Democrats have both publicly and privately called on Biden to step down and exit the race, as they’re worried he’s too old to defeat Trump come November.


Newsom Steps Up

If Biden indeed decides to exit the race — even though he has repeatedly claimed that he will not do this — many have theorized that Newsom could be one Democrat to step up and take his place in the race for the White House.

Gavin Newsom hugging Joe Biden outside in front of a car.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Detractors have stated that this fact, or this so-called shadow presidential campaign, is why Newsom is running all around the country for Biden, rather than staying in his home state during these trying times.


Newsom Heads Around the Country

After heading to Washington D.C. to speak with Biden alongside other Democrat governors, Newsom then went to Michigan to campaign for the president at an Independence Day picnic. He then headed to Pittsburgh, while he’ll soon be in Philadelphia and New Hampshire.

Gavin Newsom smiling while outside.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation/Wikimedia Commons

Patterson has blasted these travels, saying, “He is constantly leaving our state. He is constantly going on these trips. And it’s really a slap in the face to Californians who elected him.”


Is Newsom “Checked Out”?

Patterson further alleged that she believes Newsom is fully checked out of being governor of California. Instead, he’s focusing on becoming president.

Gavin Newsom speaking behind a podium.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“The governor has been checked out of California for a very long time. Listen, this has always been a stepping stone to his ultimate goal of being the president,” she explained.


A Newsom Strategy

Meanwhile, Steven Maviglio, a Democratic strategist, has explained that this is a win-win situation for Newsom, as he may indeed be able to step up if Biden steps down.

A view of red and blue Democrat and Republican logos.

Source: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Maviglio said, “I think the governor has made it very clear that he’s bored with his job here. And frankly, he’s underwater with his popularity in the state. More people think negatively of him than positively and I think part of that reason is he’s too busy running for president and not too busy being governor.”


Will Newsom Run?

While many have stated that Newsom will run for president if Biden steps down, the governor himself hasn’t even hinted that he’ll do so.

A view of the White House behind a green lawn and trees.

Source: Ana Lanza/Unsplash

After being asked about his meeting with Biden at the White House, Newsom said, “We all went there, we all wanted to hear what he had to say and the two words that were the most resonate were ‘all in’ and that’s how he began the meeting. That’s all I needed to hear. That’s why I’m here.”