Newsom rejects calls for Biden to resign at Bucks County rally

DOYLESTOWN — California Gov. Gavin Newsom continued his tour of Pennsylvania on Saturday, campaigning for President Joe Biden in Bucks County and fending off calls for the president to resign.

“If Donald Trump gets his way, God help us, we’re going to go back half a century,” Newsom told an audience outside the Biden-Harris campaign office.

“Look at what the Biden-Harris administration has done to turn this around,” Newsom said. “I don’t have to tell Bucks County to get their act together, the Democrats are keeping their word, the Democrats did it, you did it, our president did it, he kept his word.”

Bucks County is the only county in the southeastern part of the state colored purple, and both parties are placing particular emphasis on the densely populated suburb north of Philadelphia.

“Bucks County, probably like every other county in America, is probably going to tip the scales one way or the other,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party chairman Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) said Saturday. “As Bucks County goes, so goes Pennsylvania, and as Pennsylvania goes, so goes the country and the world.”

Newsom has become one of Biden’s most vocal defenders after the president’s shaky debate performance with former President Donald Trump. He is also one of the most talked-about Democrats in speculation about who will replace Biden on the ticket if the president resigned.

Since Saturday morning, five Democrats from the US House of Representatives were among those calling on Biden not to seek a second term. But Newsom on Saturday dismissed concerns that he was damaging his credibility by continuing to support the president.

“Look, there are a handful of people who may have different opinions,” Newsom told reporters. “The vast majority of the faction remains very much behind the president.” He added that he thought Biden expressed that opinion “very effectively” during an interview with ABC News and Wisconsin campaign rally on Fridayand urged the campaign to stay the course.

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U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) was another vocal supporter of Biden remaining as the party’s nominee. On Friday night, Fetterman criticized Democrats who were calling on the president to withdraw. “If you want to betray the president in this way … you’re entitled to your opinion, but enjoy your three minutes of fame,” he said during an interview on MSNBC.

Newsom declined to comment on Fetterman’s statement that Democrats had “betrayed” the president, but praised the senator for his powerful support of Biden’s candidacy.

“That’s just the way I was raised,” Newsom said. “It’s a test of character, respect for the senator, respect for this president, that’s just the way I was raised.”

Newsom also campaigned for Biden in Michigan July 4th and Pittsburgh July 5He is scheduled to appear in Chester County on Saturday for another event promoting Biden and the Democrats.

Ashley Ehasz, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st District) in Bucks County, spoke at a rally Saturday, saying she was terrified of what Trump and his “MAGA enablers” would do if they won in November.

“We all know Donald Trump is a draft dodger,” Ehasz said. “But we should also know Fitzpatrick is a draft dodger. He refuses to tell us, his voters, whether he will support Trump in November.”

Ashley Ehasz, a Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in PA-01, speaks at a rally for President Joe Biden in Bucks County, where California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke Saturday, July 6, 2024. (Capital-Star photo by John Cole)

Fitzpatrick is the only Republican in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to represent a district that Biden won in 2020 and has not announced whether he will support Trump’s 2024 candidacy. He did so in the 2016 election. Fitzpatrick said he wrote in Mike Pence for president, but voted for Trump in 2020.

“Ehasz is a far-left extremist whose values ​​are completely out of sync with the people of Pennsylvania, which is why he will once again lose to Rep. Fitzpatrick in a landslide,” Republican National Committee spokesman Mike Marinella wrote in an email to the Capital-Star on Saturday, in response to a request for comment from Fitzpatrick’s campaign.

“I can’t speak for other elected officials or candidates, but I know that right now we have a 34-time convicted felon at the top of the Republican ticket, and as a veteran, I’m working to stop him,” Ehasz told reporters. “So I support anyone who can stop Trump.”

Asked if she thought Biden was best positioned to prevent a second Trump term, Ehasz said: “I think right now he has a track record of being one of the best presidents this country has ever seen.”

Newsom reiterated that he would not seek the nomination if an open convention is held and responded to a question about leaks from Democrats questioning Biden’s candidacy.

“That’s a lot of people talking to you. I’ve never seen anything like that,” Newsom said, chuckling. “I’ll leave it at that, and everyone has to make their own decision.”

Asked if he thought Democrats should stop talking to reporters, he replied: “I’m not giving any advice.”

A group of Trump supporters lined the road outside the rally, one of them holding a sign that read, “Go back to Cali NewSCUM.”

Protesters gather outside President Joe Biden’s campaign rally in Bucks County, where California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke Saturday, July 6, 2024. (Capital-Star photo by John Cole)

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

Trump, who has made four appearances in Pennsylvania in 2024, will hold a rally in western Pennsylvania on July 13. Biden, who has visited the state eight times this year, is scheduled to arrive in Pennsylvania on Sunday for a church service in Philadelphia and a campaign event in Harrisburg.

AND Bloomberg/Morning Consult pollreleased Saturday, showed promising results for Biden over Trump in a number of key battleground states, though the sample size was relatively miniature.

Update: This article was updated at 6:40 p.m. July 6, 2024 based on NRCC comment.

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