Democrats attack DeSantis' record on freedom
On November 30, Florida's Republican governor and presidential hopeful - Ron DeSantis - will take part in a televised debate with Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California. While the pair have been taking swipes at each other frequently over the few years, the debate will be the first time that they've faced-off in person.
Ahead of the debate, there have been frequent signs that each was trying to score points off the other, calling each others' policies and statements into question, most recently when Gavin Newsom attempted to call into question whether Florida's DeSantis is really such a guardian of freedom as he likes to portray.
And it would seem that Newsom's decision to focus on this particular issue isn't any accident. A recent television advert has been launched, sponsored by the Campaign For Democracy Political Action Committee, which centers on the very same issue. Opening with a visual styled on a 'Wanted' poster, the advert leads with the slogan:
"That's not freedom. That's Ron DeSantis' Florida"
The advert goes on to attack the Florida Republican for new laws enacted by DeSantis during his time leading the Sunshine State.
Such is the disdain that Newsom feels for Ron DeSantis on this subject, that he felt compelled to express the opinion that "Ron DeSantis will never be president".
DeSantis takes issue with Newsom
The criticism and beef between the two most certainly goes in both directions. The previous week, Newsom had been the subject of vicious attacks from Ron DeSantis and other Florida Republicans including Matt Gaetz, after admitting that he had only cleaned-up the streets of San Francisco after President Xi Jinping of China was due to visit.
Comments from DeSantis, Gaetz and others were intended to be inflammatory, and many called out Newsom for his apparent deference to the communist leader of China.
DeSantis has also been a regular critic of the California Democrat, suggesting that the number of people leaving the West Coast to start a new life in Florida, is a good illustration of the reasons why Americans who love freedom, prefer to live in the Sunshine State. Newsom naturally disagrees, and in July 2022 ran a series of TV adverts in Florida, claiming that 'freedom is under attack in Florida'.
Will the debate end or inflame their feud?
As the November 30 debate approaches, it could either put an end to their differences or add fuel to the fire which could form the basis of a future battle for the White House.
Their arguments have spanned a wide variety of topics over time, including relative crime rates in their states, gun control, energy and climate change. Their debate (if it happens) will likely cover all these topics and more besides.
Newsom was criticized by members of the Biden Administration for putting his own ambitions ahead of President Joe Biden. This debate may just be about preparing the ground for an election beyond 2024, assuming that DeSantis isn't successful in securing the Republican nomination and the subsequent presidential election this time around.
Time will tell who emerges victorious!
Do you think that Floridians enjoy more freedom under the leadership of Ron DeSantis? Do you think that Gavin Newsom has presidential ambitions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.