Newsom challenges Florida’s DeSantis to debate

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday challenged his Florida counterpart, Ron DeSantis, to a televised debate, escalating his criticism of Republican governors’ mass transport of migrants to liberal bastions as “reprehensible” and presumably unlawful.

“Hey [DeSantis], clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom tweeted Friday afternoon. “Since you have only one overriding need — attention — let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.”

On Wednesday night, DeSantis despatched a gaggle of round 50 migrants by airplane to Martha’s Winery, a Massachusetts playground for rich liberals. On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused a gaggle of almost 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C., ramping up a tactic that GOP governors have turned to in current months to protest unlawful immigration.

“Like millions of Americans, I have been horrified at the images of migrants being shipped on buses and planes across the country to be used as political props,” Newsom mentioned in a letter Thursday to U.S. Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland, urging the Division of Justice to research DeSantis’ actions.

A number of the migrants mentioned that they had been falsely advised they might be transported to Boston, the place they might obtain work authorizations, Newsom mentioned.

When requested concerning the letter throughout an occasion Friday, DeSantis responded with a quip about Newsom’s hair.

“I think his hair gel is interfering with his brain function,” he mentioned.

Newsom took the chance to put down his problem to DeSantis, sharing an August tweet through which former CBS Information anchor Dan Slightly raised the concept of a possible prime-time debate between the 2 governors, each regarded as harboring presidential ambitions.

“Ratings I bet would be huge. Who would have the courage to show up?” mentioned Slightly, who revealed an article Friday calling DeSantis’ and Abbott’s migrant transports “a shameful stunt.”

DeSantis had not responded publicly as of Friday night.

For months, Newsom has made a behavior of contrasting California’s insurance policies with these of Texas and Florida.

This summer season, his reelection marketing campaign ran a tv advert in Florida slamming that state’s restrictive abortion insurance policies and a regulation that forbids instruction about sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by way of third grade.

“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love,” Newsom mentioned within the advert.

Newsom has repeatedly denied that he’s contemplating a presidential run, however many political watchers are skeptical, particularly as he units his sights on DeSantis, a possible 2024 GOP candidate.