DeSantis Presses Newsom On Policies Causing California Exodus

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pressed California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on the Fox News debate stage Thursday for the leftist policies he has implemented that have led to a mass exodus of residents out of the state.

“California has more natural advantages than any state in the country. You almost have to try to mess California up,” DeSantis said. “And yet that’s what Gavin Newsom has done since he’s been governor. He’s the first governor to ever lose population. They actually, at one point, ran out of U-Hauls in the state of California because so many people were leaving.”

DeSantis pointed to disastrous Newsom policies that led to California experiencing negative population growth. He named some of the strictest COVID-19 policies in the U.S. — including closing public schools while his kids went to private school — among the reasons why Californians are leaving the Golden State.

“He’s good at being slick and slippery hills. He’ll tell a blizzard of lies to be able to try to mask the failures,” DeSantis warned, “But the reality is they have failed because of his leftist ideology. And the choice for America is this: What Biden and Harris and Newsom want to do is take the California model and do that nationally.”

Newsome responded by turning the attention away from himself and saying he was at the debate to defend President Joe Biden. However, that wasn’t the reason originally given for holding the debate between the two state governors from opposing parties.

After DeSantis asked Newsom to give an explanation for the number of Californians leaving the state, the California governor evaded giving an answer. Fox News host Sean Hannity tried to get Newsom to answer DeSantis’ challenge to his policies as governor, but to no avail. DeSantis and Hannity both pointed out the Democrat governor was avoiding the question.

Instead, without responding to his arguments, Newsom began to attack DeSantis’ prospects as a candidate for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The California governor said DeSantis won’t be his party’s eventual nominee. “There’s one thing in closing that we have in common,” Newsom quipped, “Neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.”