California Governor Gavin Newsom has doubled down on his mutual alliance with President Joe Biden, who continues to support Newsom in his upcoming gubernatorial recall election, even as the troubling situation in Afghanistan consumes Biden’s attention and threatens to drag down his presidency.
When previously asked whether Biden’s actions in Afghanistan compromise their political relationship, Newsom said that he was “incredibly proud of President Biden,” and “incredibly enthusiastic to have his support” in opposing the recall.
In the coming weeks, President Biden is supposed to travel to California to campaign for @GavinNewsom and help energize voters. But could the situation in Afghanistan could complicate that?
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) August 17, 2021
Biden has been similarly lavish in his praises of Newsom, saying on Twitter that Newsom is “leading California through unprecedented crises” and that he is “a key partner in fighting the pandemic and helping build our economy back better.” More recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Biden’s commitment to campaigning for Newsom.
However, it is unclear whether Biden will be in California anytime soon, as his focus in recent weeks has increasingly been fixed on overseas affairs, particularly the chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Biden’s difficulties were magnified after suicide bombers in Kabul killed 13 American troops and wounded at least a dozen more, in addition to killing and injuring several dozen Afghani civilians.
The attack has put political campaigning on hold for the time being, and prompted Vice President Kamala Harris to cancel a planned rally in support of Newsom in California. However, the close ties between Newsom and the Biden administration during this vulnerable political time are likely to leave a question mark in many voters’ heads about Newsom’s own competence.
Newsom is up for recall on September 14. The latest polls suggest that the election will be very close, with likely voters split on whether to remove the governor from office.
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