DeSantis Challenges Newsom’s Policies Using Mass Exodus From California

In a heated debate that aired on Thursday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took California Gov. Gavin Newsom to task over the policies that have pushed a lot of people out of his state. The exchange, hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity, saw Newsom unable to explain the mass exit from the state.

DeSantis began by highlighting California’s abundant natural advantages, emphasizing that “you almost have to try to mess California up.” However, he argued that Newsom’s leadership has indeed caused the state such disruption. “He’s the first governor to ever lose population. They actually at one point, ran out of U-Hauls in the state of California because so many people were leaving, he pointed out.

Per DeSantis, the situation is so bad that some of Newsom’s own family members, including his father-in-law have abandoned California for Florida.

One of DeSantis’ major points of contention was Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He accused Newsom of implementing draconian measures, such as keeping kids out of school while sending his own children to private schools. This perceived hypocrisy, according to DeSantis, played a significant role in prompting Californians to seek refuge elsewhere.

Taking a swipe at Newsom’s communication skills, DeSantis stated, “He’s very good at spinning these tales. He’s good at being slick and slippery hills, he’ll tell a blizzard of lies to be able to try to mask the failures. But the reality is they have failed because of his leftist ideology.”

The 2024 GOP presidential candidate went on to assert that the nation faces a critical choice between freedom and failure, cautioning against adopting the California model on a national scale.

Newsom, however, appeared evasive during the debate, as he tried to claim that he was there to defend President Joe Biden. However, the initial point of the debate was so that Newsom could make his case that California is a model state. The two had agreed to the one-on-one debate after multiple public spars over policy.

When Hannity and DeSantis pressed him for an explanation regarding the mass migration from California, he avoided addressing the question directly.

Instead, he chose to attack DeSantis by bringing up his Republican presidential campaign and saying the Florida governor would secure the party’s nomination.