DeSantis To Debate Newsom

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) accepted an invitation to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The governors of two of the most populous states in the nation are being framed by each participant as a wider debate over the future of the United States.

DeSantis made the announcement on Fox News earlier this week. Newsom had invited the Florida governor to debate him with Fox News host Sean Hannity as moderator.

“Absolutely. I’m game. Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where, we’ll do it,” DeSantis said.

The Florida Republican added that “in one respect, the debate between California and Florida has already been had, as you suggest, people have been voting on that. They’ve been voting on it with their feet.”

“They have fled California in record numbers,” he added. “Florida has been the number one state for net in-migration. We have the number one ranked economy.”

The governor also cited crime levels at a five-year low and the state’s high educational rankings.

The 2024 Republican candidate also said that President Joe Biden may not see his party’s nomination in 2024. DeSantis specifically cited potential opponents as either Newsom or Vice President Kamala Harris.

“But in another sense, this is the debate for the future of our country,” DeSantis said. “Because you have people like Joe Biden, they would love to see the Californication of the United States.”

DeSantis said that if a potential candidate such as Newsom or Kamala Harris were nominated, “that’s going to accelerate American decline. We can’t see America decline anymore. We need to reverse American decline.”

During a June interview, Newsom accepted the idea of a debate moderated by Hannity.

The two governors have compared the relative success of their states, with Newsom launching a media campaign arguing that Florida was a poorly-governed state.

The disagreements have grown into what the Associated Press described as a “rivalry” between Newsom and DeSantis.

DeSantis recently cited California residents leaving for other states, such as Florida. During a campaign event in Nevada, the Florida governor said that people leave California “because leftist government is destroying that state. Leftist government is destroying cities all over our country.”