Newsom tried to dismiss — again — that notion early and often in Thursday night’s debate.
“There are profound differences tonight, and I’m happy to engage them,” Newsom said, “but one thing we do have in common is neither of us will be the nominee of our party in 2024.”
As he’s done in all of his other public events and interviews this year, Newsom defended Biden, but some — even in his own party — still don’t buy the loyal surrogate act.
“There are two additional Democrats running for … president right now,” Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat, said earlier this month — ironically from the early caucus state of Iowa. “One is a congressman from Minnesota, the other one is the governor of California, but only one has the guts to announce it.”
The congressman from Minnesota being Rep. Dean Phillips.
“I appreciate and respect the work the president is doing,” Newsom said during the debate, adding, “I don’t know how many times I can say it. They’re just making this stuff up about a shadow campaign.”
The reality is that Newsom has thrust himself into the conversation for the presidency. If he’s not angling to run this cycle, as he says, he certainly appears to be doing so for 2028 — when the country is set to be clear of Trump and Biden.
Because DeSantis is actually running, the stakes were higher for him
Time is running out for DeSantis.
He’s trailing Trump by a lot, there are just 44 days until the Iowa caucuses, and DeSantis needs a strong showing there.
It’s not clear he did enough with this appearance to help himself close the gap, though his team was happy with his performance and cited dozens of conservative commentators who praised him.