Advisers to President Joe Biden say a proposed debate between governors Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom is “disrespectful” to a presumed Biden-Harris reelection effort, and has the look of a “shadow” campaign to boot the sitting president from the top of the ticket, according to an NBC News report.
Both DeSantis and Newsom have agreed in principle to the debate proposed by Sean Hannity. The Fox News host asked each in separate interviews whether they’d debate the other, and both agreed – though no date or time has been set.
“Some Biden advisers have complained privately [that a] debate could make voters think Newsom is running a 2024 shadow campaign at a time when most Democrats say they’d prefer a different candidate at the top of the ticket,” according to the weekend report. “Harris allies take particular umbrage at what they see as Newsom’s attempt to position himself for the 2028 Democratic presidential primary at the expense of the vice president.”
Anchors on “Fox & Friends” as well as NewsNation noted the brewing in-fight on their Sunday broadcasts.
“Newsom is out there saying, ‘I’m ready just in case. In case of emergency, break glass,” Chris Hahn, former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, said on NewsNation. “You’ve got this shiny Californian ready to jump in at the last minute. … I don’t expect this debate to actually happen. I don’t think there’s anything in it for Governor DeSantis, who was a little bit flat at the debate last week. Newsom tends to be a little bit more of a charismatic person.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy noted that both Biden and Harris had their own separate beeves about the proposed debate on “Hannity.”
“The Biden people feel it is disrespectful, and in particular, they feel like Mr. Newsom is running a shadow campaign to oust Joe Biden,” Doocy said. “And then you’ve got the Harris people, they see it as an attempt by Newsom to position himself ahead of Kamala Harris for 2028.”
On NewsNation, former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the Democrat-on-Democrat dust-up says more about the state of affairs in Harris’ camp than anything:
“The person who could take a couple of steps back here is Kamala Harris,” Mulvaney said. “I can’t believe the vice president is complaining about this. The vice president has one of the largest pulpits in the country. … If she’s complaining about the attention Newsom is getting, that’s says more about her operation right now than his.
“The true loser here could be Kamala Harris,” he added.
Watch the entire exchanges in videos above and below.