SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The White House announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden “clearly opposes” the recall efforts by Californians to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued the following statement in a Tweet Tuesday afternoon:
“In addition to sharing a commitment to a range of issues with @GavinNewsom from addressing the climate crisis to getting the pandemic under control, @POTUS clearly opposes any effort to recall @GavinNewsom,” Psaki wrote.
Recall supporters said the California governor has mismanaged the pandemic and point to him being spotted eating indoors at a fancy restaurant - after telling everyone else not to do that very same thing. Political analysts agree it was a huge misstep.
“When you attend an indoor gathering at the most expensive restaurant in California, it really signals that you might not be in touch with day-to-day Californians' needs,” said Political Analyst Laura Fink.
But Fink said Newsom's overall approval rating is still high, so she's not convinced the recall effort will be successful. That said, she's not surprised former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has launched an exploratory committee to run if there is a special election. Faulconer initially won his seats on the city council and the mayor's office in special elections where his predecessor was forced out of office.
The Democratic governor was elected in a landslide in 2018 in the heavily Democratic state, but unstable politics following Donald Trump's presidency could add to the risk for the incumbent. Voters are angry over long-running school closings and coronavirus rules.
Recent polls have shown Newsom losing ground with independents, Latinos and even his fellow Democrats. Recall organizers say they've nearly reached the 1.5 million petition signatures required to place the proposal on the ballot this year.