2024 Election /

'Stop Pussyfooting Around': DeSantis Responds To Newsom's Debate Offer

'Are You Gonna Throw Your Hat In The Ring And Challenge Joe? ... Or Are You Just Gonna Sit On The Sidelines And Chirp?'

Florida governor Ron DeSantis called out California governor Gavin Newsom for criticizing his governance of the Sunshine State.

“He’s got huge problems in his state,” the Florida governor said of Newsom during a Thursday press conference. “You see it in San Francisco. You see it in LA. You see it in the people fleeing.”

DeSantis cited the Golden State’s yearly increase in population from California’s entrance into the union in 1850 until Newsom assumed office in 2019.

“California was probably the height of opportunity for middle class Americans for many many decades in this country. People were drawn to there,” DeSantis continued. “And yet, he’s the first governor who’s seen a massive exodus out of California.”

The Florida governor noted that, despite problems plaguing California, Newsom has a “real fixation on the state of Florida.”

“Stop pussyfooting around,” DeSantis said. “Are you gonna throw your hat in the ring and challenge Joe? Are you gonna get in and do it, or are you just gonna sit on the sidelines and chirp?”

On Monday, the California governor expressed interest in debating DeSantis.

“I’m all in. Count on it,” Newsom told Fox News host Sean Hannity, who would host the hypothetical debate, during a sit-down interview that aired Monday.

“You would do a two-hour debate with Ron DeSantis?” Hannity asked.

Newsom responded, “Make it three.”

He added: “I would do it one day’s notice with no notes. I look forward to that.”

The California governor previously extended an offer to debate DeSantis last September.

Former longtime CBS anchor Dan Rather originally proposed the idea in a tweet late last August suggesting the event would garner “big ratings.”

Hey governor DeSantis, clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom said in reference to DeSantis’ efforts to fly illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts at the time. “Since you have only one overriding need — attention –let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray.”

DeSantis did not address Newsom’s offer.

Last month, the Florida governor launched his bid for the Republican nomination in the 2024 Presidential Election.

“Our border is a disaster, crime infests our cities, the federal government makes it harder for families to make ends meet, and the President flounders,” DeSantis asserts in his first campaign video released on May 24. “Decline is a choice, success is attainable, and freedom is worth fighting for.”

“Righting the ship requires restoring sanity to our society, normalcy to our communities, and integrity to our institutions.”

“Truth must be our foundation,” DeSantis continues. “Common sense can no longer be a common virtue.”

He continued:

In Florida, we proved that it can be done. We chose facts over fear, education over indoctrination, law and order over rioting and disorder. We held the line when freedom hung in the balance. We showed that we can, and must, revitalize America. We need the courage to lead, and the strength to win. … I’m running for president to lead our Great American Comeback.

Newsom, who has previously been speculated to seek a presidential run, has not officially expressed intention to seek higher office in the 2024 presidential election.

Shortly after DeSantis’ Thursday comments, his campaign’s website began advertising merchandise with the Florida governor’s quote, “Stop Pussyfooting Around.”

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