"I want to talk about Gov. Newsom," Biden said Wednesday during a reception for APEC leaders. "I want to thank him. He's been one hell of a governor, man. As a matter of fact, he can be anything he wants. He can have the job I'm looking for."
While Newsom has been a vocal backer of Biden's 2024 reelection, he's also been accused of running a "shadow campaign" for president with his headline-grabbing domestic travel and high-profile international trips, including one last month to China. Newsom has played a prominent role at APEC, greeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the airport and hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for Biden on Tuesday.
During his remarks, Biden also mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris, another San Francisco Bay Area native. While Newsom was the former mayor of San Francisco, Harris served as the city's district attorney before she became California's attorney general.
"I'm particularly grateful for the Bay Area for giving our great vice president the chance to become vice president," he said. "She's the best. She's an outstanding leader and a great partner."
Biden additionally told current San Francisco Mayor London Breed she had "the hardest job in American politics."
Biden's remarks preceded a performance by Gwen Stefani, who thanked the president and first lady Jill Biden for hosting her in between renditions of "Sweet Escape" and "Hey Baby."
The president's appearance at the reception caps his first full day at APEC, one dominated by his meeting with Xi.
Joe Biden is scheduled to speak at APEC's CEO Summit on Thursday, followed by attending the APEC Informal Dialogue and Working Lunch, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework family photo event, and the Heads of Delegation for the APEC Dinner.