Home>Articles>Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Responds to Gov. Newsom’s July 4th Ad

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, February 23, 2017. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Responds to Gov. Newsom’s July 4th Ad

DeSantis goes after California on populations shifts, COVID-19 policies, crime

By Evan Symon, July 8, 2022 3:35 pm

During a speech in Cape Coral, Florida on Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally responded to Governor Gavin Newsom’s 4th of July campaign ad, raising numerous points and concerns over what the Governor said in the ad.

Newsom, who many speculate to be working towards a presidential run in 2024, first raised suspicions in late June, when it was revealed that Newsom’s reelection campaign had bought $105,000 worth of ad buys in Florida over the July 4th weekend. The ad was eventually released during the weekend, revealing it to be Newsom criticizing numerous recent Floridian political decisions, saying that freedom was under attack in the state, and that those in the state should either fight back or move to California.

“It’s Independence Day, so let’s talk about what’s going on in America,” says Newsom in the ad. “Freedom is under attack in your state. Republican leaders are banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in the classroom, even criminalizing women and doctors.

“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight, or join us in California. We still believe in freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate, and the freedom to love. Don’t let them take your freedom.”

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Florida ad. (Photo: Gov. Gavin Newsom youtube channel)

The ad was largely met negatively by both Californians and Floridians alike, with lawmakers from both parties in both states largely agreeing that states should not go after each other like this, with many individual lawmakers also tearing the ad down point by point. However, one major figure had notably not gotten in on the controversy: DeSantis himself. While people around him, like those on his campaign, did respond in kind, DeSantis hadn’t publicly commented on the ads until Friday.

In his speech, DeSantis noted recent population shifts favoring Florida while many Californians left the state, went after Newsom on his COVID-19 policies and not following the same guidelines as other Californians during the pandemic, criticized high-crime rates in many parts of the state, and reversed what Newsom said in his ad and called Florida a ‘citadel of freedom’ compared to the Golden State.

“Everyone wants to talk about me in Florida,” said Governor DeSantis on Friday. “I mean, like I’m just sitting here like little old me doing my job. I can just tell you this. I was born and raised in this state. And until the last few years, I rarely, if ever, saw a California license plate in the state of Florida. You now see a lot of them. I can tell you. If you go to California, you ain’t seeing very many Florida license plates.

“We would never allow what’s happened in places like San Francisco and L.A., where these areas have been destroyed with drugs and crime and the homeless to happen. We take those that seriously, and we believe when people commit crimes, they belong behind bars, not released back onto the street.”

“When families are uprooting from the Pacific coast to go almost 3,000 miles in search of a better life, that’s telling you something. Yes, we’ve created a citadel of freedom here that has attracted people, and we’re proud of it. But let’s just be clear, California is driving people away with their terrible governance.”

DeSantis and Newsom

While DeSantis gave an impassioned rebuttal, many political observers noted that DeSantis was not on the money on some of his points.

“Let’s go down this from his major points,” said Nicole Martin, a Washington D.C.-based political consultant on large electoral vote states, to the Globe on Friday. “First of all, the population changing and seeing more license plates. It is true that California is losing population, with Florida gaining people. But a lot of people are still moving to California too, especially from Florida. Go to a parking lot of a zoo or sporting event in California, you will see a lot of Florida license plates. You might see more California ones in Florida, but out west, a lot of Floridians are moving out still too, for work, or more recently, leaving because of recent LGBT and abortion restrictions. And what state is friendly to them? California.”

“Now the point going after Newsom for his COVID-19 policies is valid. He very much broke his own COVID-19 guidelines several times. It helped contribute to the recall election going on the ballot, and is now an incident that he will never live down. If he’s running for president, you can bet his opponents will roll that one out. Probably mention this recent ad too.”

“The crime point is also very valid. He didn’t mention it but both the cities he mentioned  have either recalled their district attorney or are in the process of setting up an election to recall them. All over crime rates and installing policies soft on crime.”

“And then people leaving the state again. Yes, it’s true, but it’s happening in Florida more and more now too.”

“Overall, DeSantis was mostly right, but should not have leaned hard on people leaving the state because that might come back to bite him as more people leave Florida over some policies there and some companies, like Disney, now starting to balk at expansion there.”

“If he wanted to come out on top, he did, and he took the higher road of not making an ad to do it. But what we are seeing right now may be a taste of what we get in 2024 or 2028 if these two are front runners in their respective parties. Democrats need a known leader between 35 and 60, which is a tall order. And Republicans need someone who can beat Biden or whoever comes after him, and right now that is a short list of Republicans who have expressed interest. We’re seeing a political rivalry brew in front of us more and more.”

As of Friday afternoon, Governor Newsom has not responded to DeSantis’ comments.

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8 thoughts on “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Responds to Gov. Newsom’s July 4th Ad

  1. The funny thing is that neither of them will likely be in the running come 2024.
    I think Gavin will have way too much baggage and DeSantis will have blown it by not making an exception for rape and incest in abortion law.

  2. The only state that is “criminalizing doctors” is California, Newsom….
    You and your dumba$$ Democrat legislators, are the ones criminalizing doctors unless they tow the CDC/WHO/FDA/WEF guidelines for the clot-shots being “$afe and effective”…

    Yeah, they’re safe from criminal prosecution about their insidious side effects, and effective in boosting the revenue$ of the evil pharmaceutical companie$…

    What a jackass we have for California governor…

    DeSantis/Noem 2024/2028…

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