Newsom blasts Florida Republican for "shameful" decision
On November 30, the long awaited TV debate between Florida's governor and presidential hopeful - Ron DeSantis - and his nemesis, Governor Gavin Newsom of California. While it was always anticipated that the clash would be extremely bitter, it seems unlikely that anyone would have believe it could get so personal.
The clash, which pitted Republican DeSantis against Democrat Newsom was predictably claimed as a victory by supporters of each of the figures. With Newsom having no current ambitions beyond continuing to serve as governor of California, some might argue that DeSantis had more to lose if he were bested by Newsom, and yet it's entirely unclear who emerged victorious by any objective measure.
One topic that Newsom was always likely to tackle, was that of gun-control and the measures that have been enacted by DeSantis in recent months, effectively loosening gun-controls further at a time when mass-shootings remain a clear and present threat across the United States.
"Florida had one of the worst mass shootings in American history... Parkland parents pleaded with Ron to address gun violence. And what did he do? Ron ROLLED BACK common sense gun safety measures."
Newsom concluded his point with a single-word summary for how he feels about DeSantis and his actions:
His opinion on gun-control measures and how Ron DeSantis has relaxed them is well-known, but it was a chance once-again for Newsom to make a point. DeSantis had signed permit-less concealed carry into Florida law earlier this year. On the presidential campaign trail he has also doubled-down on this, suggesting he would enact the same into federal law if he were president. He's also attacked fellow Republican candidates Nikki Haley and Donald Trump for their lukewarm attitude towards guns.
Has the debate achieved anything?
The debate between Florida's Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, the Democrat from California was a long time coming and with none of their differences resolved it seems likely that their public feud will continue.
Newsom was criticized by senior figures in the Biden Administration for agreeing to take part in the debate in the first place.
While it may have been a platform for Newsom to launch a future bid for the White House, he made one of his more pointed remarks to DeSantis, pointing out that in his opinion, all the pair have in common is that neither will be president in 2024.
DeSantis gives as good as he gets
They have fought a long and bitter feud in public, and in the days before the debate, DeSantis mocked Newsom for admitting that he had only cleaned up the streets of San Francisco when President Xi Jinping of China was due to visit.
He revisited that topic once again during the debate, and criticized Newsom for the many ways in which he has apparently let down his citizens both in his approach to civil liberties and the extent to which crime and disorder are rife in many of his cities.
With the back and forth now over and some points scored by each, it seems likely that business as usual will be resumed.
Do you think that Florida's Ron DeSantis has done a good job serving the people of the Sunshine State? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.