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Governor Showdown Shapes Up as DeSantis Agrees to Debate


Governor Showdown Shapes Up as DeSantis Agrees to Debate

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum. DeSantis, the conservative leader of Florida, is committed to opposing “wokeness,” while Newsom has implemented a range of progressive policies in his state. Each governor enjoys the freedom to pursue their agendas in states controlled by their respective parties.

Over the past few years, the two governors have consistently criticized each other. Recently, they have come to an agreement to participate in a debate.

In June, Governor Newsom made an appearance on Fox News, where he was interviewed by Sean Hannity. During their conversation, he expressed his willingness to engage in a debate with Governor DeSantis. On July 28, the California governor’s team sent an official proposal outlining the debate rules.

The proposal stated that Governor Newsom had extended multiple challenges to Governor DeSantis for a debate. Newsom emphasized that he is eager to engage in a discussion about how Democratic policies are positively impacting the American people. The suggested format for the debate would be marketed as a Red v. Blue event, with a focus on discussing state-level representation and policies.

If the debate were to occur, Sean Hannity would serve as the moderator, and he would be required to allocate equal speaking time to both Governor Newsom and Governor DeSantis. The candidates must agree not to interrupt each other during the debate. 

According to Newsom’s proposed rules, only the two governors would be allowed to speak, and Hannity would be the sole moderator. The debate would take place at a Fox News studio and last for 90 minutes, with the event being aired live. Participants would not be allowed to use any notes, and their respective staff members would not be permitted to brief them after the debate begins.

Governor Newsom indicated his availability for the debate on either November 8th or November 10th.

On August 2, Governor DeSantis expressed his willingness to participate in the debate with Governor Newsom, saying, “Absolutely, I’m game. Just tell me when and where.”

DeSantis and Newsom have engaged in a series of verbal attacks against each other for an extended period. Notably, during the lockdowns, a considerable number of California residents relocated to Florida. DeSantis proudly attributed this migration to the fact that his conservative-led state lifted the lockdown measures sooner than Newsom’s progressive-led California.

In July 2022, Governor Newsom launched an ad on Fox News specifically targeting Florida residents. In the ad, he accused Florida’s GOP of threatening freedom, alleging actions such as “banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, [and] even criminalizing women and doctors.”

Governor DeSantis responded to the ad, highlighting the influx of California residents into Florida in recent years. He mentioned that he had never seen California license plates in Florida until recently, but now they have become a common sight in the state.

In April, Governor Newsom visited Sarasota, Florida. In response to his visit, Christina Pushaw, who used to be Governor DeSantis’ Press Secretary, made a remark in jest, suggesting that Newsom should return to his own state and jokingly mentioning that he might not be able to get his U-Hauls back due to the increasing number of California residents moving to Florida.

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