Fresh from accusing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of “kidnapping” illegal immigrants because he had them transported to the liberal shores of Martha’s Vineyard California Governor Gavin Newsom has challenged DeSantis to a debate.
DeSantis’s campaign spokesman seemed to pooh pooh the suggestion on Twitter and his press office did not respond to a request for comment from the California Globe.
But DeSantis is making a big mistake if he doesn’t rise to Newsom’s challenge, which has already elevated his profile. He’ll look like he’s shying away from a good fight and he would miss the opportunity to challenge Newsom directly on all his pomposity and demagogic language about immigrants, as well as the panoply of ills that afflict California due to its wild liberal policies.
Newsom issued the challenge on Twitter last Friday afternoon. He was responding to a tweet from longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather suggesting a debate.
Rather wrote, “Here’s an idea for Chris Licht, the new head of @CNN.. Set up a debate — one-on-one — between @GavinNewsom and @RonDeSantisFL Two governors of big states, potential presidential candidates. Prime time. Ratings I bet would be huge. Who would have the courage to show up?”
Hey @GovRonDeSantis, clearly you're struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives. Since you have only one overriding need — attention –let's take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day. @CNN https://t.co/vTJHQxfArW
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 16, 2022
In response Newsom said Hey @GovRonDeSantis clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives. Since you have only one overriding need — attention –let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.”
The hair gel was a reference to what DeSantis said Friday about Newsom’s letter to the United States Department of Justice calling for DeSantis and Texas governor Greg Abbott to be prosecuted for their facilitation of the transport of illegal immigrants coming across our nation’s borders, even though the Biden Administration has also been taking migrants on planes and placing them in New York and other locations.
DeSantis said sardonically, “So the Governor of California sent a letter to the Department of Justice saying, ‘You need to prosecute Texas and Florida governors’. And all I say is, I think his hair gel is interfering with his brain function,” DeSantis said.
In recent months Texas Governor Greg Abbott has transported illegal aliens who illegally crossed the border to liberal sanctuary cities including New York and Chicago and Washington, DC to make the point that the lax border enforcement of the Biden Administration is unacceptable.
The immigrants go on their own volition. Nobody is forcing them to take the flights. They are not human chattel as Newsom and other liberal depict them. That kind of depiction is remarkably condescending towards these Latinos, depriving them of agency.
Last Wednesday about 50 illegal immigrants–or migrants as they are politely called in the mainstream media–arrived in the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vinyard after being transported by Florida from Texas. Martha’s Vinyard said they couldn’t handle them and had them transported to Cape Cod on Friday.
The point DeSantis was trying to make about liberal hypocrisy was illustrated perfectly.
University of California at San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser told the California Globe that Newsom benefits by making the debate challenge since it elevates his profile. He said it would be a “win” for Newsom if DeSantis dodges the debate challenge. But the ideal “bigger win” would be if they actually end up on stage together since that gives them both an elevated platform. “It could be a win win since they are looking to rally their bases and elevate their profiles.”
Of course a debate could also be a losing proposition for Newsom since California compares rather unfavorably to Florida. As the California Globe addressed last week, California is beset with the kind of social pathologies that are nowhere near Florida:
“Does Florida have such a debilitated power grid that electric car owners are told not to charge them at night?
Does Florida have homeless drug addicts pooping on the sidewalks, shooting up heroin and meth in public, pitching tents in public parks and along streets in front of businesses?
Does Florida have such a crime spike that Starbucks and Jamba Juice have closed over safety concerns; where state law reduced a host of felonies to misdemeanors, including drug crimes, date rape, and all thefts under $950, even for repeat offenders who steal every day?
Does Florida have a median home cost more than $800,000?
Does Florida have a water shortage, telling residents they can only water their lawns once a week?
Does Florida have an annual “wildfire season,” burning entire towns and forests every year?
Did Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lock his entire state down for two years, shut down “non-essential” businesses, close all schools beaches, parks, and churches, order double masking, issue orders for mandatory Covid vaccinations, and still clings to his State-of-Emergency powers?
Did Gov. Ron DeSantis create a Ministry of Truth in his state to go after political enemies and speech he does not approve of? (hint: Gov. Newsom just did).”
These are all questions that DeSantis could pose in a debate with Newsom. Because the press is so fulsome towards the former San Francisco mayor he rarely needs to answer to them.
DeSantis is missing an excellent opportunity and comes off as cowardly if he doesn’t rise to the occasion to confront a critic directly. Already, DeSantis has shied away from face to face confrontation. He recently declined to appear on “The View” because of all the mean things the hosts have said about him.
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