Gavin Newsom Joins Bucks County Democrats to Campaign for Biden

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tried to motivate Bucks County Democrats in a speech Saturday in which he praised President Joe Biden’s accomplishments in his first term but made little mention of growing concerns about the president’s age and competence following his disastrous performance against former President Donald Trump in the first presidential debate last month.

“We will save democracy and bring back Biden and Harris for another four years,” he declared.

On Saturday morning, Newsom headlined a rally in Doylestown, where he spoke alongside local officials to a crowd of Democrats who turned out to support Biden in the midst of a holiday-weekend heat wave in the key county.

Each speaker focused on the dangers a second Trump presidency poses to the country, from potential abuses of power to restrictions on the rights of women and LGBTQ Americans.

“Donald Trump is not only the worst president in American history, he is a broken man,” said state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, who is also the chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Party.

Newsom cast the race as a choice between “chaos and competence” and warned that Trump would return the United States “to the pre-1960s world.”

“You are the front line of this opposition,” he said.

Trump supporters gathered on the sidewalk in front of the event with signs and flags mocking Biden and telling Newsome to go home.

The visit comes as Biden is facing a arduous period in his campaign. Since the June 27 debate, Biden’s campaign has been unable to quell panic among Democrats, as many wonder whether the 81-year-old president can beat Trump — or if he’s capable of serving a second term, and some in the party calling on him to step aside.

Dana Rollins, a Langhorne resident who attended the rally, said he believes Biden is the best person to challenge Trump “at this point.” The talk of changing candidates, he said, is a result of the party being a diverse group that has many voices.

“This is the process we have to go through to put forward the strongest candidate and defeat Donald Trump,” he said.

“I believe this organization, the Democratic organization, will find the right answer,” Rollins added.

The stop with Newsom comes as Biden is in the midst of his own critical set of campaign events — a stop in Wisconsin on Friday, scheduled stops in Philadelphia and Harrisburg on Sunday and an interview that aired Friday on ABC. Biden sought to project strength during the interview Friday and vowed to stay in the race. But many Democrats remain concerned.

According to the New York TimesBiden acknowledged that these events will be critical to his ability to save his campaign. Times poll showed Biden lost his lead over Trump after the debate.

Newsom, a 56-year-old second-term governor, has staunchly defended Biden even as his own name has been being considered as a possible replacement candidate.

Asked by a reporter after the rally whether he would run if the party nomination were open at the Democratic convention in August, Newsom said no and spoke glowingly of Biden’s continued candidacy. For the nomination to go to another candidate, Biden would have to voluntarily concede.

“I think it’s the hypothesis that’s getting in the way of progress on this candidacy,” Newsom told reporters after a pro-Biden rally. “That’s exactly where he wants us to be, fighting our own internal battle.”

Newsom has repeatedly visited the states where the decisions are being made to show his support, including a stop in Michigan on Thursday and one in Pittsburgh on Friday. He had plans to visit another Philadelphia suburb, Chester County, on Saturday evening.

The Philadelphia suburbs — and Bucks County in particular — are key for Democrats to win Pennsylvania. Bucks County is the only county in the metro area represented by a Republican in Congress, but its voters chose Biden over Trump in 2020.

In an interview, Bucks County Republican Committee Chairwoman Pat Poprick criticized the campaign’s decision to bring Newsome, governor of one of the most liberal states in America, to a moderate county.

“We’re not that liberal, we’re not that far,” Poprick said. “I think it’s very telling that they think this is going to help them in Bucks County.”

Although national polls conducted after the debate showed issues favoring Biden, Newsom told reporters the battle would ultimately be played out in places like Bucks County.

“Yesterday was a good day, and we all want to see more of it,” Newsom said, when asked if Biden was doing enough to prove he was up to the job. “That’s what campaigns are about: Get out the surrogates. Get out the party faithful. It’s a grassroots campaign, not a top-down campaign. At the end of the day, it’s county by county.”

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