Biden's GOP debate strategy: Send Newsom
Joe Biden's re-election campaign is deploying California Gov. Gavin Newsom to the second Republican presidential debate next week in Simi Valley, Calif., Biden campaign advisers tell Axios.
Why it matters: It's the latest example of Biden's increasingly warm relationship with Newsom after earlier tensions between the two — and comes as the California governor continues to build his national profile.
Driving the news: GOP frontrunner Donald Trump isn't likely to attend the GOP debate Wednesday, but Biden's team also is deploying top officials — including campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez — to contrast the president's agenda with what they call "MAGA Republicans' extreme and out of touch views."
- The debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will be hosted by Fox Business and Univision, so the Democratic National Committee is focusing its messaging on economics and Latino voters.
- Chávez Rodríguez and DNC chair Jaime Harrison will host Latino organizing events including one focused on Latino men, Biden campaign advisers told Axios.
- The DNC also is hiring a plane to fly over Southern California reading "2024 GOP: A Race for the Extreme MAGA Base," according to a Biden adviser.
- Biden re-elect spokesperson Kevin Munoz told Axios: "The campaign response builds off the strong and effective plan from the first debate with a clear north star: Push back on Republicans' lies and highlight their extremism at every turn."
Between the lines: Newsom, whose appearance at the upcoming debate was first reported by The Messenger, has become an enthusiastic booster of Biden's re-election bid, even as the governor has been building a national network of supporters and donors.
- Newsom told The New York Times this month that it was time for Democrats to rally around Biden: "The train has left the station…We're all in. Stop talking. He's not going anywhere. It's time for all of us to get on the train and buck up."
- Newsom's growing profile has annoyed some allies of Vice President Kamala Harris, NBC News reported in August.
- In June, Biden called Newsom "one of the best governors I've ever worked with" and a "buddy," as POLITICO reported of their growing bromance.
The big picture: The debate is the latest instance of the Biden campaign trying to push a contrast between what it's calling "Bidenomics" and "MAGAnomics."