Newsom finally endorses Biden at virtual campaign event for top-dollar donors

“You get it, and you’ve gotten it done over the course of decades,’’ Newsom told Biden. “You’ve been on the front lines of fighting against poverty, ignorance and disease. You have a deep compassion and empathy, you see the world from other people’s eyes.’’

Biden appeared emotional at the end of Newsom’s address. “Gov, if I get elected, I’m going to need you badly,” Biden responded.

Newsom’s comments came during his star turn at the fundraiser where tickets went for the kind of price only commanded by top surrogates like former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Tickets were also available for $25,000 at the “co-host,’’ level, as well as $5,600 “champion,” $2,800 “sponsor,” $1000 “advocate” and $500 “supporter” levels. Some 745 people were on the call.

The California governor’s appearance was part of a conversation with Democratic strategist David Plouffe, who lives in San Francisco.

Until Friday, Newsom — who had earlier endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris for president — hadn’t yet formally endorsed the former vice president. And he recently sidestepped questions from reporters about whether he would make a formal endorsement of Biden, saying he has been focused on his response to the Covid-19 crisis.

But his high-profile appearance on Biden’s behalf signals that the vice president’s team may now be relying on Newsom, who heads the nation’s most populous state and a Democratic ATM, to be a front-and-center surrogate in the 2020 election.

At the event, Newsom also addressed an executive order he signed Friday making California the first state amid the Covid-19 crisis to provide universal mail-in ballots to every voter in the state for the November election. He noted that those who want to vote in person may do so, but said, “I hope that will inspire others across the country … including red states’’ to also expand mail-in voting.

Biden praised Newsom on the ballot action, saying, “You haven’t just shown extraordinary leadership … you’re also protecting the cornerstone of our democracy, the right to vote. I’m so glad I’m on your team, man.”

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