Recall Newsom campaign organizer says Biden’s opposition shows governor knows he’s in trouble

Democrats have tried to label the recall effort as being connected to fringe groups, and neo-Nazis.

The White House for the first time weighed in this week on the recall campaign to oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that Newsom shares President Joe Biden’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis and "getting the pandemic under control."

Additionally, Psaki said, the president "clearly opposes any effort to recall" Gov. Newsom.

Anne Dunsmore, the campaign manager and finance director of Rescue California 2021, told Fox News on Wednesday that Psaki’s statement suggests Newsom has taken the recall threat seriously.

"When they have to call out the big guns like that it means they know they’re in trouble," Dunsmore said. "That he had to get them to come out in a White House tweet to say that they don’t support the recall, is more evidence that they’re in trouble."

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Recall Gavin 2020, the main committee organizing the recall, say they have – as of Wednesday – collected more than 1.4 out 1.5 million signatures needed to qualify for a ballot. The group plans to collect 2 million signatures ahead of the March 10 deadline to compensate for invalidated signatures.

Fox News has made multiple attempts to contact Newsom’s press team throughout the recall campaign but has received no reply.  

California Democrats who support Newsom have tried to portray the recall as being led by the fringe groups and white supremacists.

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference at Petco Park, which will host a vaccination site in a parking lot next to the ballpark in a partnership between San Diego County, the San Diego Padres baseball team, and UC San Diego Health, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in San Diego. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference at Petco Park, which will host a vaccination site in a parking lot next to the ballpark in a partnership between San Diego County, the San Diego Padres baseball team, and UC San Diego Health, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in San Diego.  (The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

California Democratic Party chair Rusty Hicks, for instance, has repeatedly made such claims, saying at a press conference last month that the recall effort ought to be called "the California coup."

"(It’s) led by right-wing conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, anti-vaxxers and groups who encourage violence on our democratic institutions," Hicks said, without providing a shred of evidence.

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Dunsmore predicted that such vitriol will inevitably backfire on Democrats – some of whom were actually critical of Hicks’ comments.

"If people make this partisan, it’s going to backfire. They’re still saying, ‘QAnon and this mess,’ and it’s like, good luck. You want to keep firing shots with that kind of ammunition it’s not going to help," Dunsmore said.

Newsom was elected in a landslide in the heavily Democratic state in 2018 but has seen his fortunes sour, as many residents grow weary of long-running coronavirus restrictions that have shuttered schools and business while he contends with fallout from a massive unemployment benefits fraud scandal.

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He became the focus of public outrage after being caught dining with friends at an opulent restaurant — seated closely together and without masks — after telling state residents to spurn social gatherings and stay home to avoid risk of spreading the virus.