Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Gavin Newsom, his California counterpart, “stop pussyfooting around” and challenge Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race.
“Newsom has a real serious fixation on the state of Florida, I think it’s just bizarre that he does that,” DeSantis said Thursday during his state budget signing in Fort Pierce, Florida. “What I would tell him is, you know what, stop pussyfooting around. Are you going to throw your hat into the ring and challenge Joe?”
He then continued to credit Newsom for the major “exodus” of California residents out of the state.
“You know, it’s interesting. He’s got huge problems in his state, I mean, huge problems in his state… California gained population every single year until he became governor. He’s the first governor that’s overseen a massive exodus out of California.”
DeSantis Headed to Valley
DeSantis is set to visit Sacramento on Monday, June 19. He will host a roundtable breakfast fundraiser event. His schedule that day also includes a $3,300-a-person fundraising lunch stop at Harris Ranch in Coalinga.
California Losing Residents for Decades
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, California has been losing residents to other states since the early 1990s.
From 2010 through 2021 roughly 7.7 million people have moved from California to other states throughout the nation while only 5.8 million people have moved to California from other parts of the country.
Within the last couple of years however, California has seen a spike in residents moving out of the state, hitting a record net outflow of 407,000 residents from July 2021 to July 2022.
Newsom Calls on DeSantis to Debate on Hannity Show
Newsom proposed a debate between himself and DeSantis, who is running in the Republican presidential primary, in an interview with Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity on Monday.
“I’m all in. Count on it,” stated Newsom when asked if he would debate DeSantis with Hannity moderating.
When Hannity asked Newsom if he would do a two-hour debate his response was, “Make it three. I would do it with one day’s notice with no notes. I look forward to that.”
In the same interview, Newsom reaffirmed his support for President Biden seeking a second term.
“I’m rooting for our president, and I have great confidence,” said Newsom.
A History of Butting Heads
Newsom and DeSantis are long-time political opponents who have battled over banning books, abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, firearms, and other issues. Over the last week, their relationship heated up again with DeSantis defending his administration’s decision to fly several dozen migrants from Texas to the doorsteps of a Catholic church in California.
Newsom called DeSantis a “small, pathetic man” for coordinating the immigrants’ move to California.