‘Slap in the Face’: Newsom Slammed for Leaving California on Cross Country Tour for Biden Campaign

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jul 09, 2024

California Governor Gavin Newsom has taken to the road on a multi-day swing-state tour across the country. Newsom is attempting to stem the falling tide of enthusiasm for presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden after a bad debate performance that has led to high-profile calls from prominent Democrats for him to step aside.

However, while Newsom is out doing damage control for his party’s candidate, problems at home have turned public sentiment against the governor online. Some cynically see Newsom as taking advantage of the situation to boost his national profile while Californians struggle under heat and wildfires.

Mult-state Tour

In the wake of the Biden-Trump debate, Newsom has emerged as the president’s most ardent defender, lending his voice to try to prevent a collapse of the Biden campaign as it is rocked by demands for resignation.

Gavin Newsom speaking in front of a podium outside.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation/Wikimedia Commons

“I decided instead of just rolling over and giving up, that I would step up and pick up the fight,” Newsom told reporters in New Hampshire. “He’s going to be our nominee.”


Mental Decline

Major outlets report that prominent Democrat officials have come out publicly and privately to pressure Biden to step aside amid questions about his mental decline and ability to lead the country.

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

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Biden has accused the push to oust him as meddling from “elites in the party” and that his voters have their full support behind him.

Pivotal Moment

As the party infighting reaches a fever pitch, this could be a critical moment for Newsom as he has clearly laid down his loyalty for all to see.

A portrait image of Joe Biden sitting in front of the American flag.

The White House/Wikimedia Commons

The governor is taking slings and arrows from constituents as he sticks his neck out for Biden which may or may not impact any future national-level political aspirations Newsom has as things play out.

Leaving the State

CBS News reports that many Californians are frustrated at the Governor for leaving the state amid a devastating heat wave and an outbreak of wildfires.

A fire burns in the distance as the viewer passes a speed limit sign on the road.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“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,” said California Republican Party chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson.

Boosting His Profile

Patterson asserts that Newsom is running a “shadow campaign” and has been checked out of California “for a very long time.”

Gavin Newsom and Joe Biden standing side by side on stage, both dressed in suits, with Newsom smiling and Biden looking forward

Source: JGBPOV3/X

“What he’s doing right now is boosting his own candidacy as well as boosting Biden’s and that’s a no-lose proposition for him,” said Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio.


Nothing to Lose

Maviglio contends that Newsom has nothing to lose by leaving California and playing national politics because his popularity is already so low in his own state.

Governor Gavin Newsom, dressed in a dark suit, speaking passionately at a podium in a conference room with a blurred audience in the background.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“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,” said Maviligo.


Criticism Online

On social media, Newsom continues to post clips of him meeting with Biden supporters to improve morale as he acts as a surrogate for the Biden campaign. However, these posts are often met with waves of criticism.

A Millennial woman checking her cell phone against a bright sky.

Source: Michele Bouchard/Unsplash

“Why did you fly all the way to Pennsylvania from your shi*hole state to hold a rally in front of 40 people?? You are so weird, dude,” said an X user whose comment got over 1,000 likes.


Concerns Elsewhere

Commenters slammed Newsom for California’s problems, with a common sentiment being that he should not be traveling to other states while his own state is struggling.

A California neighborhood during a wildfire, with the mountains behind it on fire.

Source: Nikolay Maslov/Unsplash

“Shouldn’t you be worried about CA right now how many people are without electricity currently or dying on the streets,” said X user Jason Hartwick. “Why are you campaigning in PA when cali is on fire?” said another X user.


Warning Residents of the Heat

While Newsom is traveling, he has put out a warning for Californians to stay cool amid the recent heatwave that has been breaking daily records in parts of the state.

A bright sun seen in the sky above clouds.

Source: Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

“Extreme heat is continuing through the holiday weekend. Take care of yourself & loved ones! Stay cool, stay hydrated, & be careful not to overheat,” said a Newsom X post on July 6.


Hot Temperatures

While Newsom is warning his own residents of the heat, the same day he also reposted a Biden for PA account celebrating a rally in intense temperatures, which is an ironic post given Newsom’s heat warning.

A post by BidenforPA expressing support for Gavin Newsom and mentioning hot temperatures.

Source: BidenforPA/X

“It’s nearly 100 degrees today but that didn’t stop our Bucks County supporters from showing up big to see @GavinNewsom  and campaign for President Biden!” said a BidenforPA X post.


Fruits of His Labor

While Newsom is traveling the country and taking criticism in the process, it’s unclear if his efforts to defend Biden from calls to resign will bear fruit. He has also attempted to brush aside questions of his own political motivations for the loyalty campaign.

A closeup shot at Joe Biden’s hands as he holds a pen.

Source: The White House/Wikimedia

“I think that’s a legitimate question and I respect it, but it’s also exactly the question that Donald Trump is hoping everyone asks as he’s out on the golf course,” Newsom said to a question about whether he would seek the party’s nomination. “So to me, that is not a question I’m going to respond to, because Joe Biden is our nominee, he’s our president. … And I look forward to voting for him.”