Newsom challenges Florida’s DeSantis to debate

Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday challenged his Florida counterpart, Ron DeSantis, in a televised debate, stepping up his criticism of Republican governors’ mass transport of migrants to liberal strongholds as “reprehensible” and possibly illegal.

“Hey [DeSantis]you are clearly struggling, distracted and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom tweeted Friday afternoon. “Since you have only one primary need – attention – let’s pick this up and debate. I’ll bring my styling gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.

On Wednesday night, DeSantis airlifted a group of about 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts playground for wealthy liberals. On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took a group of nearly 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C., escalating a tactic GOP governors have turned to in recent months in protest. against illegal immigration.

“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified by the images of migrants being loaded onto buses and planes across the country to be used as political props,” Newsom said in a letter to US Atty on Thursday. Gen. Merrick Garland, urging the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis’ actions.

Some of the migrants said they were falsely told they would be flown to Boston, where they could receive work permits, Newsom said.

Asked about the letter at an event on Friday, DeSantis responded with a joke about Newsom’s hair.

“I think her hair gel is interfering with her brain function,” he said.

Newsom took the opportunity to issue his challenge to DeSantis, sharing an August tweet in which former CBS News anchor Dan Rather raised the idea of ​​a potential prime-time debate between the two governors, both fueled by presidential ambitions.

“I bet the ratings would be huge. Who would have the courage to show themselves? said Rather, who published an article on Friday calling DeSantis and Abbott’s migrant transports a “disgraceful stunt.”

DeSantis had not responded publicly Friday night.

For months, Newsom had a habit of pitting California’s policies against those of Texas and Florida.

This summer, his re-election campaign aired a television ad in Florida criticizing that state’s restrictive abortion policies and a law banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third year.

“I urge you all to live in Florida and join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom – freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom to hate, and freedom to love,” he said. Newsom in the ad. .

Newsom has repeatedly denied he is considering a presidential run, but many political watchers are skeptical, especially as he takes aim at DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP nominee.

Los Angeles Times

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