What did he really expect?
Let in June it emerged that California's Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, had paid around $105,000 to buy some TV advertising time in Florida, for July 4th. It was initially unclear what the substance of his advertising would be - perhaps an appeal to lure back Californians who have abandoned his state in favor of Florida, or maybe a launch of a presidential run for the 2024 election.
On July 3, the advert was previewed on Newsom's Twitter page. It emerged that he was going to be telling Floridians that "freedom is under attack in Florida" and appealing to them to leave the Sunshine State and move to California where - in his words - "we still believe in freedom".
What did it achieve?
Newsom may have genuinely believed the adverts would achieve positive results, but responses even before the adverts ran were predictably skeptical.
A spokesperson for DeSantis had this to say, when asked for their impressions:
“Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire. Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida"
“The people of Florida pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media. We’re too busy enjoying the freedom Governor Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State.”
Shouldn't he focus on California?
Responses from key figures in the DeSantis administration and from more widely in Florida have also been a little frosty to say the least.
Jeremy Redfern, Press Secretary for Florida's Department of Health was quick to reply to Gavin Newsom's Tweet, suggesting that perhaps he has bigger problems to worry about in his home state as he shared pictures of various homeless encampments in California:
An anonymous staffer to a Florida Assemblywoman relayed their response to Newsom's video in a article from July 4:
“When I showed it to the Assemblywoman, she just laughed at it, said it reminded her of an SNL parody ad."
The staffer later showed the video to some "big name donors in Florida" who seemed similarly unimpressed:
"They just looked confused, with one of them saying ‘What the hell is wrong with him?’. Nobody took him seriously.”
Prolonging the DeSantis-Newsom feud
There's been an ongoing feud between Governor Newsom and Governor DeSantis for some time now:
In an April interview posted to Twitter, Governor DeSantis described San Francisco as a "dumpster fire" and further expressed concerns at the prospect of Californian businesses potentially relocating to California if they aren't willing to adapt to Florida's way of doing business.
Newsom has also been critical of Florida's recently introduced so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill which prevents the discussion of sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation in primary school classrooms.
If there's one lasting effect from Newsom's video adverts then, it seems likely it will keep that feud going for a little longer!
Did you see the TV advert by Gavin Newsom in Florida? Would you be persuaded to move to California or do you think his message was poorly timed? Let me know in the comments section below.