AUSTIN -- Despite dramatically raising his national profile over the last few months, Gov. Gavin Newson has once again rejected the idea of running for the White House.
Appearing at the at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin over the weekend, Newsom continued to be critical Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for shipping illegal immigrants to other states.
He has also been very vocal about Abbott and several other RepubIican governors strong anti-abortion stands. He has launchedin seven of the most restrictive anti-abortion states, urging women seeking the procedure to come to California for treatment.
The billboards -- which are running in Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma -- point women to abortion.ca.gov, a one-stop website providing information and resources to any women seeking an abortion and reproductive care in California.
"Here is my message to any woman seeking abortion care in these anti-freedom states: Come to California," Newsom said in a news release. "We will defend your constitutional right to make decisions about your own health."
Moderator Alex Wagner even joked with Newsom Saturday that it was surprising his plane was allowed to land in Texas.
"A governor from California in Texas," Newsom quipped. "I'm still standing."
At the festival Saturday, Newsom -- who is facing very limited opposition to his gubernatorial reelection in November -- was asked by Wagner directly of his possible plans for a White House bid in 2024.
"No, not happening, no, not at all, thank you I'm glad you are applauding no," Newson told the pro-Abbott crowd. "No and no... I cannot say it enough. It's humbling, it's sweet, it's a nice thing to be asked, I mean it and I never trust politicians so I get why you keep asking. When they say this you are always rolling your eyes because invariably they end up doing the opposite. I get the cynicism."
Newsom was also careful to praise current party leaders like President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But he said that mantras that may have worked for the party in the past — like Michele Obama's famous quip "when they go low, we go high," — simply don't work today because "that's not the moment we're living in right now."
"These guys are ruthless on the other side," Newsom said. "Where are we? Where are we organizing, bottom up, a compelling alternative narrative? Where are we going on the offense every single day? They're winning right now."
Newsom said that's why — even though he is running for reelection as governor of California — he has been spending some of the millions of dollars in his campaign account on TV ads in Florida urging people to move to California, newspaper ads in Texas decrying the state's gun laws, and putting up billboards in seven states urging women to come to California if they need an abortion.
"There's nothing worse than someone pointing fingers. What are you going to do about it?" Newsom said. "The reason we're doing those ads is because ... the Democratic Party needs to be doing more of it."
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