Newsom's out-of-state spending, travel and attacks on GOP fuels speculation of 2024 presidential run

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Newsom's spending, travel, attacks on GOP fuels 2024 speculation
With President Joe Biden not making a firm decision yet on whether he'll run again in 2024, could Gov. Gavin Newsom be preparing for a presidential run?

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom is up for re-election in November, but he's been bolstering his national presence by taking aim at high-profile Republican governors, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Many are wondering whether Newsom is laying the groundwork for a run at the White House.

Newsom has thrown his support behind President Joe Biden for the 2024 election.

"I think we're in real trouble, so I'm pro-Biden. I'm team Biden," Newsom told ABC News three weeks ago.

But with Biden not making a firm decision yet on whether he'll run again in 2024, could Newsom be preparing for a presidential run? It sure seems like it.

"He's picking fights with the governors of Florida and Texas. He's increasing his national presence. He's talking about national issues," said Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson.

"He's giving himself a national media platform. Into what end? We know he's going to win re-election in California. And this is about creating a national presence if the opportunity arises."

Newsom has also increased his out-of-state travel -- Washington D.C. over the summer and New York City this week to discuss climate and sounding like someone hoping to unite a very divided country.

"Even if you don't believe in the science, you know, your thermometer is not a Republican thermometer. Yours is not a Democratic thermometer. There's certain realities. Lived realities. Experiences," Newsom said Tuesday morning at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Newsom hasn't just been weighing-in on national issues.

He's taking action by spending campaign funds on billboards in red states to fight anti-abortion laws and urging the Department of Justice to investigate DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for "kidnapping" following the moving of migrants across state lines.

He's even challenging DeSantis, another possible 2024 contender, to a debate.

But Newsom continues to say he's not thinking about the White House.

Newsom has been able to use this re-election campaign to spend his political capital to create a national presence, something Vice President Kamala Harris, another possible 2024 candidate, hasn't been able to do as her job keeps her in the shadow of the president.