CNN’s Tapper Jokes About ‘Split Screen’ Contrast Between Biden and Newsom After Axelrod Calls Governor ‘Young’ and ‘Strapping’


CNN’s Jake Tapper and David Axelrod had an awkward discussion Monday about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (R-CA) physical prowess compared to that of President Joe Biden.

“I mean, [Newsom] is out there, he’s debating Sean Hannity, he’s talking to Dana Bash for an hour-long special. Obviously very loyal to Joe Biden, obviously doesn’t want to distract. But, come on — he’s primed and ready to go,” Tapper said.

“Yeah, I mean, I’m sure the White House is very gratified for some of the things that he’s saying,” Axelrod said. “I don’t know that they’d be as enthusiastic about his ubiquitous presence on the air. It’s sort of like, just at the time when Democrats are concerned about their aging, you know, spouse, here comes this neighbor. Young, strapping potential partner.”

“Right!” Tapper exclaimed. “Did you see the split screen? I mean, I don’t know if we were doing that on purpose, but it looked like —”

“Yeah,” Axelrod agreed. “I mean, I know that he knows — he’s a sophisticated guy. He knows that he’s playing against the story right now. I don’t think he’s setting himself up to run in 2024. I actually agree with him, Jake, that I think that Biden’s running. I think that Biden’s going to be the nominee. But he is certainly getting a head start on 2028. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

Tapper then name-dropped the potential candidates that could step in “if God forbid, something should happen, and there would be an opening for somebody to run.” The list of Democrats included Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“I don’t think they’re as aggressive as Newsom is,” Axelrod said, adding that there wasn’t much time left to vet new candidates.

“The time for that is closing, and the time for voting is about to begin. So, even at this juncture if Joe Biden were to say tomorrow or in a week or two weeks, ‘You know I’m —’ There isn’t a whole lot of time for candidates to introduce themselves to the country.”

Watch the clip above via CNN.

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