On Thursday, California's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom remained noticeably quiet after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took him up on his debate challenge issued earlier this week.
Newsom, who appears to be increasing his national visibility in preparation for a possible bid in the 2024 presidential race, had challenged DeSantis to a debate back in June.
“I’m all in. Count on it,” Newsom told Fox News host Sean Hannity, expressing his willingness to engage in a three-hour debate, given just “one day's notice and without any notes.”
While featuring on the network Wednesday evening, DeSantis replied to the challenge by asserting, “Absolutely, I'm game.”
“Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where we’ll do it,” DeSantis stated. “In one respect, the debate between California and Florida has already been had, as you suggest, people have been voting on that, they’ve been voting on it with their feet, they have fled California in record numbers.”
According to the Daily Wire, an informed source close to the situation revealed that Newsom has not made any efforts to reach out to DeSantis' team.
In the interview, DeSantis pointed out the stark differences between the two states, emphasizing Florida's leading economy, top-ranking education system, crime rates at a 50-year low, and its position as the top state for net in-migration.
“But in another sense, this is the debate for the future of our country because you have people like Joe Biden, they would love to see the Californication of the United States,” DeSantis noted. “Biden may not even be the nominee. You could have Gavin Newsom, you could have Kamala Harris. And I think if we go down that direction, that’s going to accelerate American decline. We can’t see America decline anymore. We need to reverse.”