U.S. President Joe Biden campaigned with California Governor Gavin Newsom on the eve of a recall race both Democratic leaders cast as a power grab by Trump-like candidates.
Biden joined Newsom in the port city of Long Beach, near Los Angeles, on Monday.
"All of you know that last year I got to run against the real Donald Trump. Well, this year the leading Republican running for governor is the closest thing to a Trump clone that I've ever seen in your state. I really mean it. And he's leading the other team. He's the clone of Donald Trump. Can you imagine him being governor of the state? You can't let that happen."
That was an apparent reference to Republican radio host and Trump supporter, Larry Elder whose polls show he’s the leading candidate among a field of would-be successors on the recall ballot.
Support to remove Newsom from office has gained traction with resentment over his decisions to close schools and require masks and vaccinations during the global health crisis.
The former San Francisco mayor and lieutenant governor entered the last day of a month-long early voting period in a strong position.
His votes outnumbered Republican candidates more than 2-to-1 so far.
Even so, the president’s motorcade passed groups of anti-Democrat protesters, holding signs that read, “Trump won,” “unvaxxed lives matter” and “Recall Newsom.”
The governor has drawn campaign support from Democrats like former President Barack Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders.