Feb 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Newsom defends Biden, says "he's doing everything he needs to do"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he thinks President Biden is "doing everything he needs to do" to publicly demonstrate his command and ability to serve a second term.

Why it matters: Newsom's remarks come as voters have expressed concerns over Biden's ability to beat former President Trump in the general election — and as the 81-year-old president's mental fitness has been called into question in recent weeks.

What he's saying: "I mean, [Biden's] got an extraordinary record," Newsom said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview that aired Sunday.

  • "He's doing everything he needs to do to reconcile and wrestle some common sense as it relates to a bipartisan approach to address the issue of the border where the Republicans couldn't take 'yes' for an answer because they don't want to make that a political issue," Newsom said.

Contrary to voters' concerns about Biden's age, Newsom said "it's because of his age that he's been so successful."

  • Newsom also said he's "not worried" about Biden's ability to beat Trump — the GOP frontrunner who clinched the South Carolina primary on Saturday.
  • "It's because of the wisdom and the character that's developed over years that we have the CHIPS and Science Act, the infrastructure bill, and the PACT Act, and the Safer Communities Act," Newsom said.

Zoom out: The California Democrat, serving as one of Biden's top surrogates, has defended the president as he vies for another White House term.

  • Newsom confirmed he has no plans to run for president in 2024, saying it's "all idle chatter."
  • "I think it's a damning conversation, frankly, the other side wants us to have," Newsom added. "I'm deeply mindful of the anger machine and all the entertainment industry out there on Fox and elsewhere. They love ginning this stuff up."

Go deeper: The diversity gap in Newsom's gubernatorial appointees

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