The ongoing ideological conflict between the Republicans from Florida and the Democrats from California, each representing their state’s policies, has been a constant feature of their political careers.
DeSantis, the Republican, is currently second to former President Donald Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. On the other hand, Newsom, the Democrat, has dismissed any personal presidential ambitions, choosing instead to serve as a powerful proxy for President Joe Biden.
A face-off between these two seemed improbable as DeSantis intensified his presidential campaign. However, Newsom has been persistently trying to coax his counterpart into sharing a stage with him for several months.
In a surprising turn of events, DeSantis consented on Wednesday, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “Absolutely I’m game. Just tell me when and where.”
Newsom’s aide confirmed to POLITICO that the governor was ready to participate. Newsom’s office had previously sent a formal debate proposal to Fox News, suggesting November 8th or November 10th as possible dates. The proposal requested Hannity to act as the sole moderator for a live, 90-minute forum on Fox News, which would not include an in-studio audience.
The tweet below says “The debate about the future of our country is one we need to have.”
The debate between California and Florida is already over. People have been voting with their feet for years.
But the debate about the future of our country is one we need to have.
I’m game to talk about my plans to reverse the decline in this country anytime, anywhere, because… pic.twitter.com/BbUKix8s5E
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) August 3, 2023
The aide provocatively stated, “Desantis should put up or shut up. Anything else is just games.”
A debate of this nature would be an extraordinary occurrence in contemporary presidential politics, even in an era filled with endless cable news town halls. For DeSantis, it would offer a fresh platform and adversary to highlight his achievements in Florida, especially after weeks of being mired in stories about layoffs, tightened campaign budgets, and anxious GOP donors.
If the debate were to take place, Newsom would bear the burden of his party’s expectations under a national spotlight brighter than he has ever experienced. As he did in a recent interview with Hannity, he would be obligated to defend his state’s progressive policies and President Joe Biden’s record against criticism.
In the proposal, Newsom’s office suggested three potential debate locations: Nevada, Georgia, or North Carolina.
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