Gov. Newsom: Joe Biden says he’s ‘all in’ on presidential campaign at meeting of Democratic governors

Gov. Newsom: Joe Biden says he’s ‘all in’ on presidential campaign at meeting of Democratic governors
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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden is “all in” on his presidential campaign, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of more than 20 Democratic governors who met with the president Wednesday evening at the White House.

“I heard three words from the President – he’s all in. And so am I. Joe Biden’s had our back. Now it’s time to have his,” Newsom said in a statement.

At the meeting, governors had hoped to hear candidly from Biden about the path forward for his reelection campaign and to get a sense of how he plans to speak about himself and his campaign to the American public. Leaving the meeting, New York’s Kathy Hochul said the Democratic governors are behind Biden.

“And all of us said we pledged our support to him because the stakes could not be higher,” she told reporters.

Hochul added that with former president Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the U.S. risks “descending back” into “monarchy and tyranny.”

“We will stand with the president as he fights that force, that force being Donald Trump,” she said.

Hochul was joined by Govs. Tim Walz of Minnesota and Wes Moore of Maryland, who described the meeting as “candid.”

Moore said the governors shared with the president the concerns they had heard from members of the public after Biden’s poor debate performance.

“We know that as we’re standing right here, we’re behind,” Moore later added. “But we also know that that path to be able to make sure that we can pull ahead in November is real, and it’s going to take all of us in order to make it happen and to make it work, and we’re grateful to hear the level of excitement and the focus that the president the vice president have about being victorious in November.”

He added, “Come November, we’ve got a binary choice and the binary choice [is] between someone who [has] continually delivered for us and our states and the people of our states, and, frankly, someone whose vision for the future of this country is downright dangerous.”

Walz, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, also expressed his support for the president.

“The governors have his back, and we’re working together just to make very, very clear on that; a path to victory in November is the number one priority and that’s the number one priority of the president,” Walz said.

In the wake of Biden’s much-criticized performance in Thursday’s presidential debate, a rising number of Democratic governors were calling for better communication, and in a twist, some of those who planned to attend had been talked about as possible replacements if Biden had decided to drop out.

ABC News previously confirmed that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Hochul, Walz, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healy, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, Moore and Delaware Gov. John Carney were among the governors set to attend in-person.

Others were expected virtually, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers did not attend, although Evers has plans to appear with Biden at an event in Wisconsin on Friday.

A spokesperson for Evers wrote on X that the governor “didn’t attend the meeting because he’s focused on moving forward and winning Wisconsin.”

Evers spokesperson Britt Cudaback says the governor looks forward to hitting the trail alongside Biden this Friday.

“He supports President Biden – his comments in support of the president over the last week speak for themselves, and he looks forward to campaigning with the President on Friday,” Cudaback said.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, the Biden campaign released a statement summarizing the discussions.

The Biden campaign said the president sought Democratic governors’ “advice and expertice” as he doubled down on staying in the race to defeat Donald Trump in the fall.

“Tonight President Biden and Vice President Harris met with Democratic governors from across the country at the White House to discuss their continued partnership in this reelection campaign. The president reiterated his determination to defeat the existential threat of Donald Trump at the ballot box in November and sought the advice and expertise of Democratic governors,” the campaign said in a statement.

“In addition to defeating Donald Trump, the meeting also focused on the importance of electing Democrats up and down the ballot to deliver more Democratic governors and more Democratic majorities in Congress and statehouses across the country,” the statement continued. “All participants reiterated their shared commitment to do everything possible to make sure President Biden and Vice President Harris beat Donald Trump in November.”

Wednesday’s meeting comes after Democratic governors held a call on Monday to discuss Biden’s debate performance, a national Democratic official familiar with the call confirmed to ABC News. The call was not out of concern over Biden’s performance, but simply to “touch base” on the debate, multiple sources told ABC News.

Some governors have since framed it as a general meeting where they also spoke about the debate.

“Democratic governors are some of the President and Vice President’s most proactive and vocal supporters because they’ve seen how the Biden-Harris Administration’s accomplishments are directly benefiting their residents. The Biden/Harris team is in constant communication with the governors and their teams, including about yesterday’s meeting,” the Democratic official said in a statement.

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