LONG BEACH, Ca. — President Joe Biden slammed leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder as a “clone” of former President Trump at a Long Beach rally on Monday in support of Governor Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall election.
Biden urged California voters to keep Newsom as governor, saying Elder taking office would put the state onto to the “dark, destructive, divisive politics” of Donald Trump.
“All of you know last year I got to run against the real Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Well, this year, the leading Republican running for governor is the closest thing to a Trump clone that I have ever seen.”
Biden asked the crowd, “Can you imagine him being the governor of this state?”
“You can’t let that happen,” he said.
The President slammed Elder, a conservative radio talk show host, as someone who would roll back all the progress that Newsom has made regarding the pandemic along with other key issues. Biden praised Newsom, who was the first governor in the country to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden’s rally for Newsom came on the final night before polls close. Vice President Kamala Harris rallied for the California governor last week and with less than 24 hours until the votes are cast, the President’s rally is hoping to draw up any last-second support.
A poll released on Friday shows those voting “no” on the recall hold the advantage of 60.1%-38.5% of those voting “yes”.
Biden’s and Newsom spent time earlier in the day surveying wildfire damage in the Sacramento area. During a briefing, Biden told Newsom and California officials he’s seen bipartisan support for his infrastructure proposal.
“Whether that passes or not, exactly how much I don’t know, but we’re gonna get it passed,” he said.
Tuesday’s recall election is the first test of how voters think the Democrats are faring ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Biden administration officials say the recall vote should not spark broader talk about what the results could mean for the party going forward.
“You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you’ll get Donald Trump,” Biden said. “The eyes of the nation are on you. The rest of America is counting on you and so am I.”