A crisis comms expert says now is Gavin Newsom’s chance to get what he wants: the presidency

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    As the dust of the disastrous presidential debate settles, it might be one governor’s time to shine.Gov. Gavin Newsom’s war room is probably considering how to make the best of it, a former GOP strategist says.But Newsom reaffirmed his support for Biden, highlighting his commitment to the party.

    If Gov. Gavin Newsom ever wanted to seriously consider a presidential bid, there might be no time like the present, one former GOP strategist says.

    The high-stakes presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump wrapped up on Thursday night, and it went horribly for Biden.

    Evan Siegfried, a former GOP strategist and crisis communications specialist, told Business Insider shortly after the debate: “There will be others within the Democratic party who will quietly ask whether or not Biden should drop out.”

    And Siegfried thinks the people working for Gov. Gavin Newsom of California now be considering how to make the best of a bad situation.

    He said that Newsom’s people will be “smart enough, or at least cold-hearted enough to think, ‘Okay, how can we get Newsom what he really wants — the presidency?”

    Newsom might well be one of Biden’s most viable replacements. At 56 years old, the governor of California — a state that, if it were its own nation, would be the fifth largest economy in the world — has positioned himself as a national voice on immigration and gun safety.

    Newsom’s also survived recall attempts from conservative activists, who went after him for imposing pandemic restrictions and accused him of failing to address homelessness in the state.

    Will Newsom even run?

    The governor has historically backed Biden and said he won’t run in 2024.

    In the summer of 2022, he told the White House that he was “all in” for Biden’s reelection, per Politico.

    He maintained this stance when he was asked the same question by the Associated Press in June 2023, saying that “not on God’s green earth” would he dream of challenging Biden in the primaries.

    Even during his well-publicized feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, he appeared set on not running — even though he got plenty of airtime when they sparred on the Fox News debate stage while DeSantis was still angling for the GOP nomination.

    However, when asked later in September whether he intends to run for the presidency, Newsom’s answer wasn’t an outright “no.”

    In an interview that aired on September 25, “60 Minutes” correspondent Cecilia Vega asked Newsom: “You may be termed out here, but does cleaning up the streets of California factor into a potential presidential run?”

    He gave a non-committal answer and, when pressed again by Vega, said: “That was a — that was a never-ending response to your question.”

    Newsom holds the line

    Post-presidential debate on Thursday, Newsom’s maintained his staunch support for Biden.

    When asked what he thought of the debate and whether he would reconsider a presidential bid, a representative of Newsom directed BI to his interview on MSNBC with host Alex Wagner.

    When Wagner asked him whether Biden should step down, Newsom replied: “You don’t turn your back because of one performance. What kind of party does that?”

    Alex Wagner presses Gov. Gavin Newsom on questions about whether Biden should step down.

    Newsom: “You don’t turn your back because of one performance. What kind of party does that?”

    “This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.”

    — MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 28, 2024

    He added: “This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.”

    Apart from Newsom, other candidates could replace Biden if he drops his reelection bid — including Vice President Kamala Harris, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and more.

    As for the current playing field, Trump emerged from Thursday night victorious and gloating.

    “Tonight President Trump delivered the greatest debate performance and victory in history to the largest voter audience in history, making clear exactly how he will improve the lives of every American,” his campaign spokespeople said in a statement to the press.

    Representatives for Biden did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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