Gavin Newsom Answers Kamala Replacement Question, Tells Dem Donors To Stop ‘Handwringing’ About 2024

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom — who has been rumored to have ambitions for the White House — stressed in an interview Friday that President Joe Biden is the 2024 nominee and that he has no plans to challenge Vice President Kamala Harris if Biden is unable to run.

The speculation around Newsom has been fueled by his forthcoming debate with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his Dec. 2022 visit to the southern border and the lengthy interviews for which he’s sat. (RELATED: DeSantis Tells Newsom To Stop ‘Pussyfooting’ Around Possible Run Against Biden)

“I think the vice president is naturally the one lined up … And I think we need to move past this notion that [Biden is] not going to run. President Biden is going to run and [is] looking forward to getting reelected. I think there’s been so much wallowing in the last few months and handwringing in this respect, but we’re gearing up for the campaign, we’re looking forward to it,” Newsom began in his “Meet the Press” interview.

Host Chuck Todd then asked Newsom what he has to say to donors who are “wallowing” in doubts about Biden’s suitability as a candidate.

“Time to move on. Let’s go,” Newsom answered.

Todd then pressed Newsom on whether he would support Harris for president if Biden were unable to run. “Well, it’s the Biden-Harris administration,” Newsom answered, adding that he takes an “old fashioned” view of succession and that a scenario in which he ran against Harris “won’t happen.”

Both Biden and Harris have underwater approval numbers, with Harris getting the lowest vice-presidential favorability rating in NBC News history in a poll released in June. The poll found that 32 percent of respondents thought positively of Harris, while 49 percent had a negative opinion of her. Biden’s numbers have dipped as low as 39 percent amid concerns about his age and economic policies.

Biden allies have argued that replacing Harris with a white male would be racist, NBC reported Tuesday.

“When you had people who were trying to test the waters” for a presidential bid, “the party rose up and made it clear to those individuals — who were mostly white men — that to disrespect the vice president would not be well received by women and people of color within the party,” Karen Finney, a longtime Democratic strategist, told the outlet.

Biden has maintained that Harris will be on his 2024 ticket, and Harris has been placed front and center in campaign materials. The campaign has also handed her more high-profile topics, like abortion and infrastructure.