Gavin Newsom brushes off concerns about Joe Biden's age and offers UNEQUIVOCAL support to president and Kamala Harris and claims they've produced a 'masterclass' in government: Cautions that Hunter IS a problem for White House
- California's Governor Gavin Newsom has been effusive in his praise for Joe Biden
- Newsom claimed Biden and Harris had performed a 'masterclass' in governance
- But he admitted that he disliked Hunter Biden's influence peddling over his dad
The California governor is suspected of harboring White House aspirations, but on Monday was adamant the president was the best man for the job, laughing off questions as to whether he was considering challenging him.
Only a third of voters think Biden will remain in office through a second term, if re-elected, and CNN's Dana Bash asked Newsom whether voters should be worried.
'Voters have every right to be concerned,' he said. 'But Bobby Kennedy said it best: what the world needs are the qualities of youth, not a time of life but a state of mind. A quality of imagination.
'I couldn't imagine this, three years ago, that this president could accomplish so much in such a short period of time.' He said he wanted 'a season pro, who knows how to get things done.'
Gavin Newsom on Monday told CNN that he was not concerned about Joe Biden's age, and wanted 'a seasoned pro' in the White House
President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom are pictured in San Francisco in June
Newsom continued: 'And the results are in: it's been a masterclass. There's simply been no administration in my lifetime that has been more effective in producing more substantive results.'
Biden, 80, is the oldest person ever elected president, and his age is worrying many voters across the political spectrum. A poll last month reveals 77 percent of Americans – including 69 percent of Democrats – think Biden is too old for a second term.
He said that Kamala Harris was vital to Biden's success - despite her widespread unpopularity.
Newsom, 55, and Harris, 58, both Californians, are old friends. Newsom was mayor of San Francisco and won two elections as lieutenant governor of California before becoming governor.
Harris was a San Francisco prosecutor who won two local elections for attorney general, before becoming a U.S. senator in 2016.
Some have suggested Biden should ditch Harris, but Newsom said she was 'absolutely' the best person to be his running mate in 2024. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Californian representative, last week would not say, and demurred when asked.
'By definition, if I think this administration in the last two or three years has been one of the most outstanding administrations in the last decades, and she's a member of the administration, she gets to claim credit. 'The answer is yes: absolutely.'
Newsom admitted he 'doesn't love' what he has heard about Hunter Biden benefiting from his father's position, but he attacked Republican efforts to impeach Joe Biden as a 'joke' and like 'student government'.
Kamala Harris will 'absolutely' be Joe Biden's running mate, Newsom said
Gavin Newsom said Biden and Harris would be the Democrat ticket in 2024
Newsom said he did not like Hunter Biden trading off his father's name, but said it was a widespread problem across many sectors of society - and did not merit impeachment
Biden faces an impeachment inquiry launched by Republicans who have been investigating his son Hunter's foreign business dealings in countries including China and Ukraine while his father was vice president.
Newsom said: 'I don't know enough about the details of that. I mean, I've seen a little of that.
'If that's the new criteria, there are a lot of folks in a lot of industries, not just in politics, where people have family members and relationships and they are trying to parlay a little, get a little influence and benefit in that respect, that's hardly unique.
'I don't love that any more than you love it or other people, I imagine, love that. We want to see a lot less of that.'
But he added: 'An impeachment inquiry? Give me a break, This is student government This is a joke. Ready, fire, aim. I mean, this is a perversity with what the Founding Fathers ever conceived of and imagined. So if that's the best they can do, give me a break.'
A potential Newsom 2024 candidacy has become a focus for Democrats worried about Biden's advanced age and anemic poll numbers.
The California governor has raised his profile recently, making appearances in other states, embarking on an official trip to china, and agreeing to debate Republican 2024 candidate Ron DeSantis.
But on running himself in 2024 Newsom said: 'The answer is no. No ambiguity. I'm not that guy. I'm just not.'
He added that Democrats should stop 'navel-gazing about Joe Biden' and 'get going'.
'Let's get on the train. This train has left the proverbial station,' Newsom said.
Bash asked Newsom to comment on Donald Trump's equivocating over abortion rights.
On Sunday, Trump said he did not support six-week bans, and called some of the state policies 'terrible'.
'I would sit down with both sides and I'd negotiate something and we'll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years,' said Trump.
Gavin Newsom is seen talking to CNN's Dana Bash
Trump accused Democrats of supporting abortion 'up to and after birth'.
Newsom replied: 'What does that mean? After birth? It's made up - it's a political thing. People are not seeking abortion after birth.
'It's not up to Donald Trump or me. It's up to women, who need that. The reality is that it's a political canard: it's BS.'
At present, California allows abortion until 24 weeks. 'It's not our role to make that decision,' added Newsom.
'They don't believe in fundamental choice and freedom for women. I'm not surprised Donald Trump is saying this.'
Newsom said it was 'offensive' to exploit 'terrible pain' when a baby was not viable, and had to be aborted late term.
'No one wants to see late term abortions. In those extremely rare and personal circumstances, one thing I absolutely believe is that Donald Trump shouldn't be making that decision, I shouldn't be making that decision.
'It is for a woman and her doctor.' Kayleigh McEnany, who served as Trump's White House press secretary, condemned Newsom for his remarks.
'Gavin Newsom refuses to say there should be ANY limit on abortion whatsoever,' she wrote on X.
'A baby feeling pain is totally irrelevant in his calculus. It's all a 'political canard.' This is Democrats endorsing abortion until birth.'