Kamala's Gavin Newsom Rally Canceled Amid Afghanistan Chaos

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August 26, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris's scheduled Friday campaign rally with California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) was canceled as the White House scrambled to deal with the fallout from the deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a decade.

Harris was scheduled to stop in California on her return from Singapore and Vietnam to boost Newsom ahead of the Sept. 14 recall election. According to local reports, Newsom supporters received digital invites on Thursday morning for a San Francisco car rally featuring Harris. Just one hour later, Newsom spokesman Nathan Click announced the rally was canceled.

"The Vice President Kamala Harris will not join Governor Gavin Newsom in California tomorrow," Click said. "Tomorrow's rally is canceled. No further updates to share at this time."

Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders said the vice president would instead return to Washington, D.C., on Thursday afternoon. It remains unclear who decided to cancel the rally.

The cancellation came as Biden administration officials warned of additional attacks at Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai International Airport, where at least 12 U.S. service members were killed in a Thursday terrorist attack. It is unclear if President Joe Biden will also refrain from campaigning alongside Newsom as the crisis unfolds—White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden still plans to travel to the Golden State before next month's recall election but did not give a date.

While Newsom likely hoped a visit from Harris, a longtime political ally, would boost his chances to remain in office, recent polling shows that the former senator is a historically unpopular vice president. Harris's favorability rating is 9 points underwater, the largest gap of any first-year vice president since 1993, according to NBC News.

The White House did not return a request for comment.