Newsom Admits to Provoking DeSantis into Debate

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he “baited” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis into debating him, and the GOP presidential candidate agreed to the face-off because “he regrets running for president” and he knows he’s “completely unqualified.”

“I mean, why is he debating a guy who’s not even running for president when he’s running for president?” the California Democrat told Elex Michaelson, an anchor for Fox 11 in Los Angeles before the GOP presidential debate Wednesday night.

Newsom also pointed out that DeSantis was to be at the “hallowed ground” of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the presidential debate, but “he puts out an ad today not for his presidential campaign, but to promote a debate against the governor of California.”

Earlier this week, Fox News announced that it is hosting a debate between the two governors, with Sean Hannity moderating, in a “red versus blue state debate” on Nov. 30. The event is to be held in Georgia and air on Hannity’s prime-time program. 

“Part of me wonders if the fact that he took this debate, the fact that he took the bait in relation to this debate shows that he’s completely unqualified” to run as president, Newsom told Michaelson.

Further, Newsom said that DeSantis is “distracted” with his promotion of the governor versus governor debate, “so I don’t know that he has it in his heart” to keep going with his presidential campaign. 

“Here’s my personal opinion about Ron DeSantis,” said Newsom. “He regrets running for president. He made a huge mistake. He listened to his consultants. He bought his own hype. He had this little God complex. I mean, look at the ads themselves. Literally, God created.”

And now, Newsom said, DeSantis has “bought into all this stuff and he quickly regretted it, but he’s stuck … you got one chance of first impression. He’s belly-flopped. He’s down 30-plus points from where he started. So it’s a terrible situation for him.”

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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