(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A viral clip of California Gov. Gavin Newsom playing basketball with a group of children in Beijing, China, showed him attempting to fake out the youngsters before aggressively charging one and tripping over himself, taking down the child in the process.
The video showed the Democrat governor and prospective presidential hopeful attempting to spin the basketball on his finger before dribbling toward the hoop. After faking out one child with a spin move, he then charged right into another boy and subsequently tumbled to the ground.
Making the clumsy situation even more awkward, Newsom then hugged the boy and appeared to pat or spank him on the lower back or buttocks while saying, “I got you.”
At least one Twitter user pointed out that under normal basketball rules, Newsom would have received a foul for charging his opponent, although he appeared to be playing the a variation of “streetball” with the children that typically follows the “no blood, no foul” convention.
It is unclear that the Chinese tots were aware of the rules of streetball prior to Newsom’s demonstration.
Other tweeters drew parallels between Newsom’s court game and his stewardship of the world’s sixth-largest economy. In both cases, suggested commenter David McCune, Newsom has talked a big talk then failed to deliver when it mattered.
— David McCune, MD, MPH (@davidemccune) October 29, 2023
Others wondered what Newsom was doing in China to begin with, suggesting it could be the next in a 2024 presidential run.
Can someone please tell him that those kids can’t vote in the US Presidential election?
— Tom Greene (@tomgreenewrites) October 29, 2023
Some have speculated that the governor may be searching out additional funding from foreign partners for a surprise presidential campaign, just in case incumbent President Joe Biden’s campaign takes a turn for the worse.
The soon-to-be-81-year-old leader is not only facing intense legal scrutiny with mounting evidence that he accepted bribes as part of his family’s corrupt business deals, but also concerns about his physical and cognitive decline following regular public gaffes.
Newsom, meanwhile, coyly claimed the purpose of his weeklong trip was for “turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging on foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future.”
One of the primary issues up for discussion, he said, was the matter of international climate change policy.
“California and China hold the keys to solving the climate crisis,” Newsom said in a statement. “As two of the world’s largest economies, our partnership is essential to delivering climate action for our communities and beyond.”
Newsom also discussed the trafficking of fentanyl—which often comes to North America from China—with the nation’s president, Xi Jinping, despite previous claims by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China only sent fentanyl chemicals to Mexican cartels “inadvertently.”
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed recently that Mexican cartels had purchased pill-pressing machinery from China to produce fentanyl pills on a larger scale.
This is Newsom’s second international trip in his official capacity as governor.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.