Fierce DeSantis-Newsom rivalry heads to prime-time showdown with ‘Hannity’ debate

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The two relatively young and powerful governors of large states have the ability to attract national attention and fire up their respective political parties’ bases.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom California and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have been on fire again this week — but this time, their feud will be physical.

DeSantis, who is vying for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, and Newsom — who Republican critics say is running a shadow campaign for the White House despite repeatedly speculating as a “funny” — will face off Thursday in a debate led by Fox News’ prime-time commentator Sean Hannity.

The show, titled “DeSantis vs. Newsom: The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate,” will be held in Alpharetta. Georgia – The once-red state has become a major general election battle between the two main political parties.

‘It’s all business,’ DeSantis said of his war of words with Newsom.

“He represents a very distant slice of the electorate. I think that will show when we have the debate.” DeSantis said. He spoke with Fox News Digital earlier this week during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary and second overall contest on the GOP presidential nomination calendar.

Newsom pointed to DeSantis during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity” earlier this fall and said, “I don’t like people who demonize other people or go after vulnerable communities. I don’t like liars.”

Newsom’s potential presidential bid is front and center as he visits Biden at second GOP debate

Both governors have surpassed national profiles, commanding the nation’s first and third most populous states and narrowly won gubernatorial re-elections last year, where their rivalry intensified.

In the year In 2022, Newsom went public. Florida airwaves Targeting DeSantis’ culture war approach to politics and policies. “Freedom, in your state, is under attack. Republican leaders are banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in the classroom, criminalizing women and even doctors,” Newsom argued at the scene.

Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign event on November 21, 2023 in Keene, New Hampshire, US. (Reuters/Sophie Park/File Photo)

DeSantis, a national hero to conservatives for his actions to contain the coronavirus pandemic, earlier this year called San Francisco — the city where Newsom served two terms as mayor — a “dumpster fire.”

The governors — who have long clashed on social media over their various Covid policies — have come under fire this year over DeSantis’ moves to deport undocumented immigrants. to California. Florida’s governor has made border security a top issue in recent years and has repeatedly touted the effort in the 2024 Republican presidential campaign.

Last week, a Newsom-affiliated political group began running ads on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ criticizing DeSantis over Florida’s six-week abortion ban he signed earlier this year.

“They’re perfect foils for each other,” Ryan Williams, a longtime Republican strategist and communicator, told Fox News.

Will this major support in Iowa boost DeSantis?

Williams, a veteran of several presidential and state campaigns, said, “It’s to their advantage that they attack each other. It offends both of their bases. It gives them a national platform to fight each other.”

DeSantis, the clear alternative to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, has seen his position erode over the summer and fall. He is currently battling for second place in the polls with former ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, far behind Trump, who remains the Republican front-runner as he makes his third bid for the White House.

California Governor Gavin Newsom spoke with Fox News Digital

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks with Fox News Digital during the second GOP presidential debate, in the Spin Room at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

Newsom is one of the most high-profile possible successors to Biden, who is running for a second term. But after more than two years in the saddle, the 81-year-old president has faced questions in recent months about his physical and cognitive ability to serve another four years in the White House. And Biden in 2015. Trump has been closely followed in many recent polls in anticipation of the 2024 general election matchup.

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While Newsom has repeatedly shot down speculation that he would run for the White House next year if something happens to Biden, the California governor’s well-publicized trips to Israel and China last month sparked more buzz about his 2024 ambitions.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, DeSantis argued, “I was warning Republican voters … it might not be Biden in 2024.”

“This guy is running a shady campaign. He denies it, but even people in his own party are talking about it,” DeSantis said of Newsom. “are you there [Vice President Kamala] Harris, you have plenty of other people who could run in 2024 if Biden can’t. I think there are a lot of people in the Democratic Party who don’t want Biden to run. Ultimately, it will be his decision, but I think there is a lot of pressure to make a move.

Fox News’ Jamie Joseph contributed to this report

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more in our Fox News Digital Election Center..



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