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Kamala Harris, then California's attorney general, greets Gavin Newsom, then the state's lieutenant governor, and then- President Obama in San Francisco in 2011. Photo : Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called on California voters to reject the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom in a TV ad launched statewide on Thursday.

Why it matters: Obama is the latest high-profile Democrat to back Newsom against GOP-led efforts to oust him. Newsom faces challenges from numerous candidates, including conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who's emerged as his biggest threat. Elder's image is featured in Obama's ad.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What he's saying: Obama tells voters in the ad they have a "big choice" to make in Tuesday's election, praising Newsom for his pandemic response measures.

  • "Republicans are trying to recall him from office and overturn common-sense COVID safety measures for health care workers and school staff," Obama says.
  • "Your vote could be the difference between protecting our kids and putting them at risk, helping Californians recover or taking us backward."

The big picture: Newsom has had the support of leading Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who have campaigned for Newsom in California.

  • President Biden is expected to campaign for Newsom early next week, according to Politico, which first reported news of Obama's ad.
  • Elder told reporters Tuesday that top Democrats were backing Newsom because they're "scared to death" he'll lose, per CNN.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Conservatives target vulnerable Democrats with college football ad buy

A screenshot shows an ad running this weekend against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). Courtesy: America Next

A conservative group is taking its air campaign to defeat President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending package to college football games, targeting vulnerable senators in Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire with a nearly $3 million buy.

Why it matters: By running TV ads during this weekend's widely watched conference championships, America Next is seeking a big audience while trying to lash those senators to Biden's proposals — and sink them with his sagging approval ratings.

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.