Fox News’ Pete Hegseth pressed California Governor Gavin Newsom about whether he will launch a presidential campaign in the 2024 election.
Hegseth questioned Newsom in the spin room on Wednesday evening after the second Republican primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The first and second Republican primary debates were hosted by Fox News.
The Fox News host initially asked if the California governor would prefer to debate former President Donald Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, both of whom are currently seeking the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election.
“Look, these guys didn’t lay a glove on Trump,” Newsom said of the debate panel with hesitation. “And Nikki Haley has a lot to say about Ron DeSantis lying about his executive order and his anti-fracking stance and his anti-oil drilling stance. But it was a nothing-burger, objectively, and I know I’m the spin guy and I know I’m a Democrat, but Biden won.”
Newsom said it was a “good night” for President Joe Biden, who is seeking a second term in the 2024 presidential election.
VIDEO – FNC’s Hegseth to Newsom: Is Biden Holding You Back from Running for President? https://t.co/BjNve1HhyN
— Grabien (@GrabienMedia) September 28, 2023
“Do you feel like Biden’s holding you back from running?” Hegseth asked to which Newsom asked if he was kidding.
“I’m enthusiastically passionate about promoting the Biden, not only agenda, but the great implementation, which is his second term and having his back, character, decency,” Newsom said. “And I’m an old-fashioned guy, I believe in a little loyalty.”
The California governor is scheduled to debate DeSantis on Nov. 30 after the Florida governor accepted Newsom’s debate challenge initially offered last summer.
DeSantis has referred to the upcoming meeting with Newsom as “an important debate,” citing a difference in political ideologies between the governors.
“He has lost massive amounts of population,” DeSantis said of Newsom. “No governor in California history has ever witnessed population loss at all on net.”
Prior to Wednesday’s debate, Newsom said DeSantis “took the bait” by accepting his debate challenge in an interview with FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson.
“Why is he debating a guy who’s not even running for President when he’s running for President?” Newsom asked, adding he believed DeSantis was “distracted.”
“He’s showing up at the Reagan Library, hallowed ground, and he puts out an ad today, not for his presidential campaign, [but] to promote a debate against the governor of California,” he said.
Newsom also suggested the Florida governor regretted launching his presidential campaign, saying DeSantis had a “God complex” and “bellyflopped” his first impression on the national stage as a presidential candidate.
“He bought into all this stuff,” Newsom continued. “He quickly regretted it, but he’s stuck.”