‘One Of The Best Governors In The Country’: Biden Props Up Gavin Newsom, Calls Elder A ‘Trump Clone’ At Anti-Recall Rally

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden urged Californians to “vote no” on Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall while repeatedly slamming Newsom’s opponent during a rally for the incumbent Monday evening.

The president arrived in Long Beach after visiting both Idaho and Sacramento to participate in events relating to the recent wildfires. Biden took the stage for the campaign event and quickly propped up Newsom as “one of the best governors in the country” before attacking his frontrunner opponent, Larry Elder, as being “anti-women, anti-worker” and a “climate denier.”

“The eyes of the nation, this is not hyperbole, the eyes of the nation are on California because the decision you are about to make isn’t just going to have a huge impact on California, it’s going to reverberate around the nation – and quite frankly, not a joke, around the world,” Biden, speaking to a crowd of around 1,100 people, said. “And here’s why. All of you know the last year I got to run against the real Donald Trump.”

“Well, this year, this year, the leading Republican running for governor is the closest thing to a Trump clone that I have ever seen. No, I really mean it. And he’s leading the other team. He’s a clone of Donald Trump,” Biden continued. (RELATED: Larry Elder’s Campaign Slams LA Times Over Photo ‘That Made It Appear’ He Was ‘Hitting’ Supporter)


The president, battling a cough, went on with his warnings for California residents. Newsom, he said, believes in the science and has been “protecting people and vaccinating his state.” Although Biden highlighted Newsom’s “courage” amid the pandemic, the Democratic governor faced backlash over his COVID-19 lockdown policies – in part because he publicly defied them.

“We need Gavin Newsom. A governor who will follow science,” the president declared.

Biden hit Elder over past comments he made regarding women, as well. The president said that a vote for Newsom means “you’ll be keeping a governor who respects women instead of someone who wrote that women know less about politics and economics than men.”

“He [Elder] hadn’t met my wife,” Biden briefly joked.

The president was referring to a resurfaced op-ed Elder wrote more than 20 years ago dubbed “Democrats and the SHE vote.” Elder cited “a study at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania” which he said “confirmed women’s lack of knowledge of the issues.”

“Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events. Good news for Democrats, bad news for Republicans. For the less one knows, the easier the manipulation,” Elder wrote just before citing the study.


“Questions concerned campaign finance reform, gun control, taxes, foreign policy, defense, as well as questions about the candidates’ positions. Men knew more than women in 15 categories. Women outperformed men on only one question!”  the now-gubernatorial candidate added.

Biden, using the news to go on the offensive, suggested a vote for Elder would be a vote against women’s rights. He said the rights of women are “under assault” around the country, citing the new Texas abortion law as his evidence. The law bans abortion at around six weeks and allows for “any person” to sue any individual who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”

Pro-life activists have rejoiced over the law while pro-choice activists have slammed it. The White House openly decried the move, with Biden saying on Sept. 1 that it “blatantly violates” Roe v. Wade. The president proclaimed keeping Newsom would “send a message to the nation” that “women are to be respected and their rights protected.”

“By voting no, you will be protecting California from another Trump climate denier, who said global warming is, quote, a crock and a myth,” Biden continued, shifting his focus to the wildfires. “Look, it is hard to believe there is any climate deniers left in America. Let me tell you something. There are. The last place you want someone like that is in a governor’s office in California. You all see what’s happening.” (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Will Larry Elder Be California’s Governor? Not If Hollywood Can Help It.)


In a speech that largely focused on what Biden dubbed as Elder’s shortcomings, the president ended with a plea and a declaration that the state already has “a governor who has the courage to lead.”

“California, I mean this sincerely, the eyes of the nation are on you. I’m not joking. I’m not joking about that. You’ve gotta vote no on the recall. Keep Gavin as governor. The rest of America is counting on you and so am I,” Biden said somberly to cheers from the crowd.