California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom targeted the top two contenders for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2024. Newsom is regarded as a rising star in the Democratic Party and a potential presidential candidate. According to him, former President Donald Trump's desire for "vengeance" poses an even greater threat to democracy as compared to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is "fundamentally authoritarian". "I've made the point about DeSantis that I think he's functionally authoritarian. I'm worried more, in many respects, about Trumpism, which transcends well beyond his term and time in tenure," Newsom said. He was referring to the former president's frequently expressed threats to exact "revenge" if he returns to the White House on the political foes he holds responsible for the numerous criminal charges brought against him. "The vengeance in Donald Trump's heart right now is more of a threat," said Newsom. Newsom stated that if Trump wins the general election in 2024, he will cooperate with his government to protect Californians' interests, just as he did during the Covid-19 outbreak. "At the end of the day, these are the cards that are dealt. And I want to do the best for the people that I represent, 40 million Americans that happen to live in California," Newsom said. However, DeSantis, the right-wing Republican Florida governor with whom he has regularly disagreed, received the brunt of Newsom's sharpest criticism. He criticized DeSantis' "partisanship"—most recently on show when he turned down Joe Biden's visit to the state in the wake of Hurricane Idalia—and disagreed with his plan to relax lockdowns and outlaw mask requirements. "I don't like the partisanship. And I thought it was demonstrably displayed by what I thought was a very weak exercise by governor DeSantis," Newsom said when asked about the Floridian's snub of Biden.
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