Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) faced off in a long-awaited debate. While Governor DeSantis touted Florida’s “freedom over failure,” Governor Newsom called California the true model for the nation to follow. The debate was filled with moments of tension, proving that both governors will continue to play important roles in the lead-up to the 2024 election.
The rivalry between both governors has been brewing for quite some time. Governor DeSantis has struggled in the polls since announcing his presidential run, and Governor Newsom has been viewed as a replacement for President Joe Biden (D).
Governor DeSantis sought to draw a distinction between Florida and California, arguing that Governor Newsom has implemented tyrannical policies, which has resulted in people flocking to Florida.
Citing the infamous incident wherein California was locked down during the COVID pandemic, but Governor Newsom was able to attend the French Laundry for dinner, Governor DeSantis noted a conversation with new Florida residents.
“I was talking to a fella who had made the move from California to Florida,” Governor DeSantis recalled, adding that the man had moved to Florida because it’s better governed, safer, with a better budget, and it has lower taxes.
“Then he paused and said ‘by the way, I’m Gavin Newsom’s father-in-law,” Governor DeSantis concluded.
In turn, Governor Newsom called on Governor DeSantis to drop out and give Ambassador Nikki Haley (R) a chance to defeat President Donald Trump (R). Ambassador Haley recently scored the endorsement of American for Prosperity, which abstained from endorsing a nominee in the 2016 and 2020 elections.
In the end, Governor Newsom played on Governor DeSantis’ low polling numbers, assuring that he and Governor DeSantis have one thing in common, which is that neither of them will be representing their party as the nominee for the presidency.