President Biden will fly to California on Monday and urge voters to reject the GOP-backed effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of a three-state Western swing, a White House official confirmed.
Biden and Newsom will appear together at a rally on Monday in Long Beach, a final effort to ensure that Democratic voters cast ballots — and vote no — in Tuesday’s special election.
That event will follow two stops Monday, one in Boise, Idaho, where Biden plans to tour the National Interagency Fire Center, and a second in Sacramento, where the president will assess damage from recent wildfires, the White House official said.
Biden “will highlight how wildfire season is now a year-round event because of climate change, that no one is immune to climate change, and how 1 in 3 Americans have been impacted by severe weather events in recent months,” according to the official.
On Tuesday, Biden will travel to Denver for an event to boost support for his “Build Back Better” agenda — specifically, the official said, on “the impacts that would be felt throughout local communities” — before he returns to Washington.
Biden’s campaign appearance for Newsom will come just days after Vice President Kamala Harris visited California — in an effort to galvanize Democrats, both in support of Newsom and against the possibility of a Republican taking over the country’s largest state.
What you need to know about California’s Sept. 14 recall election targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The front-runner among dozens of candidates seeking to replace the governor, polls show, is Larry Elder, a conservative talk radio host. Although polling indicates a growing majority of Californians oppose the recall, Democrats fear low turnout could allow Republicans to pull off an upset.
Harris, who rescheduled her initial campaign event with Newsom late last month as the administration focused on the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan, appeared in the Bay Area city of San Leandro with the governor on Wednesday.
Biden, Harris and others weigh in. But the campaign hasn’t set Democrats across the country on fire.
In a sign of the importance national Democrats are placing on stopping the recall effort, Newsom also campaigned in recent days alongside one of his party’s biggest draws, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). He has also featured Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), winner of California’s Democratic presidential primary last year, in a recent television ad.
Even if Newsom ultimately survives, the recall effort has been a major drain of political resources. In August alone, Democrats spent $36 million on their get-out-the-vote effort.
But a Newsom victory could lift Democrats after a politically challenging several weeks for Biden, whose popularity has taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s resurgence and the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The president has spent much of the last week on the road assessing storm damage from Hurricane Ida, meeting with first responders and pledging to help communities that have been affected. He has also highlighted the impact of climate change and the increase in extreme weather events to make the case for his domestic agenda, including a $1.2-trillion investment in infrastructure improvements.