DeSantis takes aim at Newsom during SoCal-centric presidential buzz tour

The Florida governor and likely presidential candidate added more fuel to his rivalry with Newsom.

The political rivalry between two of the nation’s most notable governors took another step forward over the weekend.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took time during a Southern California swing to tailor a few attacks on California Gov. Gavin Newsom.


The backstory: The rivalry between the two governors was thrust into the national spotlight last year when Newsom challenged DeSantis to a debate, and the pair have sniped at each other through the media ever since.

The big picture: DeSantis was visiting the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California to promote his new book: “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”

  • While DeSantis has not declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, he polls close to former President Donald Trump and is widely expected to throw his hat in the ring. 

What they’re saying: “We’ve witnessed a great American exodus from states governed by leftist politicians imposing leftist ideologies and delivering poor results, and you can see massive gains in states like Florida, who are governing according to the tried and true principles that President Reagan held dear,” DeSantis said.

  • DeSantis went on to say that throughout history “people beat a path to California,” but now it is the other way around under Newsom. 
  • “And I can tell you, we had families move from the Pacific coast just for the fact that we had schools open in Florida, when you didn’t have them open in many other states,” DeSantis said. 
  • Newsom fired back with a statement of his own, welcoming DeSantis to the “real freedom state.” 
  • “Just look at the data – California residents are safer, healthier and more prosperous than those unfortunate enough to have you as their governor…” Newsom said. “Oh, by the way, you’re going to get smoked by Trump.”
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