OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared his intentions for 2024.
The governor was at the at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Saturday when he was asked if he would consider campaigning for president in 2024, Business Insider reported.
“Not happening, no, no, not at all,” he said. “I’ve said it in French, Italian. I don’t know German. I mean, I cannot say it enough. But thank you. It’s humbling. It is sweet. It’s a nice thing to be asked. I mean it, and I never trust politicians, so I get why you keep asking.”
“California, I mean, what a gift,” the governor said. “Forty million Americans strong. We talk about laboratories of democracy, and we’re able to scale ideas that have impact all across this country and around the world. I’m very proud of that privilege, and I don’t take it for granted one day.”
“I was almost recalled last year. They went after me hard. That’s sobering, and that wakes you up. How vulnerable, how fast this is, how people come and go, and you know, people cut you off,” he said.
His name has been rumored to be among those who could compete for the Democrat nomination if President Joe Biden decides that he does not want to campaign again.
But last week sources who spoke to TheWrap said California Gov. Gavin Newsom is “undeniably, unequivocally” going to step and run if Biden doesn’t.
Whispers that Biden will not run again have turned into rumors and then outright predictions by party insiders over the past year especially, as questions about his mental fitness have grown.
(Exclusive) California Governor Gavin Newsom is “undeniably, unequivocally” planning to run for president in 2024 if President Biden chooses not to seek a second term. https://t.co/geBua5ZGej
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) September 19, 2022
For instance, just last month, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who serves as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told The New York Times that Biden would not campaign again for the job in a comment she intended to be off the record.
She was asked by The Times Editorial Board “should Biden run again and responded by saying ‘Off the record, he’s not running again.'”
The Times responded, “Not off the record. On the record.”
“On the record?” Maloney said. “No, he should not run again.”
Maloney has said in the recent past she does not believe the president will make another White House bid. Earlier in the month, she said during an NY1 three-way debate for New York’s 12th Congressional District against Rep. Jerrold Nadler and attorney Suraj Patel of Biden: “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election,” according to the New York Post.
The question was then put to Nadler, “Should President Biden run again in 2024?” And while he was less direct, he also would not commit to backing Biden, the Democratic Party’s titular leader.
“It’s too early to say,” Nadler responded. “It doesn’t serve the purposes of the Democratic Party to deal with that until after the midterms.”
And in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday, Biden himself cast doubts about running again.
“Sir, are you committed to running again, or are there certain conditions that have to be right?” interviewer Scott Pelley asked.
“Look, if I were to say to you, I’m running again, all of a sudden, a whole range of things come into play that I have – requirements I have to change and move and do,” Biden responded, noting that election laws are playing into his reply.
“And it’s much too early to make that kind of decision. I’m a great respecter of fate. And so, what I’m doing is I’m doing my job. I’m gonna do that job. And within the time frame that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do,” he said.
“You say that it’s much too early to make that decision,” Pelley said in response. “I take it the decision has not been made in your own head.”
“Look, my intention, as I said, to begin with, is that I would run again. But it’s just an intention,” Biden replied. “But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”
BREAKING: Joe Biden Refuses to commit to 2024 run on 60 Minutes: “Look, my intention, as I said, to begin with is that I would run again. But it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.” pic.twitter.com/W5DhBCQ0i9
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 19, 2022
Doubts about Biden’s intention — or ability — to run again have obviously factored into Newsom’s decision.
“After this midterm election is over, he absolutely is going to announce that he is running for the presidency once Biden announces that he is not running,” a top California fundraiser with close ties to the Newsom and his family told TheWrap. “No ifs, ands, or buts. He will run if Biden does not.”