Gavin Newsom on ‘JV’ Debate: ‘These Guys Are Getting Lapped by Donald Trump’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks to reporters in the spin room following the FOX Busines
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) mocked those who participated in the Republican primary debate Wednesday night, equating it to a junior varsity event as former President Donald Trump is the “dominant force” in the field. 

Newsom attended Wednesday night’s chaotic debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where candidates screamed over each other as moderators sometimes lost control. 

When asked in the spin room following the event what he thought the main takeaway was, Newsom told reporters, “I think it will be clear that Trump comes out the dominant force after this debate,” according to a clip from News 18 circulating on social media.

“I mean, this is the XFL. This is JV. I mean, honestly, this is maybe, maybe a vice presidential debate. These guys are getting lapped by Donald Trump. It’s not even close, it’s not even interesting,” he continued. 

Newsom wondered if the candidates understand that Trump is dominating the field and contended they need to attack Trump more if they want to be the nominee: 

And I think what’s most interesting to me is do they recognize that or are they actually going to show up and run against the guy that’s in the way of their prospects to be the nominee? Its a zero-sum game. It’s a binary choice at the end of the day. Its not ranked-choice voting. So either these guys come after the front runner and distinguish themselves or otherwise they’re wasting everybody’s time. I say this with love and respect, there’s a reason some of the advertising is being discounted for this debate. People don’t want to tune in because they know that fundamentally.

Newsom’s comment about Fox News’ advertising rates concerned a Tuesday report from Semafor’s Max Tani. Tani noted that the network appeared to be selling advertisements at significantly discounted rates compared to the first debate: 

Semafor reviewed the rates the network shared with one prospective ad buyer for both the first and second GOP primary debates. For the first debate, the cost of a single 30-second spot topped $495,000

But the same 30-second spot during Wednesday night’s contest would cost just over $200,000.

Newsom is set to debate Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on Fox News on November 30, the network announced Monday. The network’s Sean Hannity will moderate the event.

“I don’t know why he’s debating a governor of California,” Newsom said in the spin room Wednesday per a video shared to Twitter by Scripps News’s James Packard. “I mean, again, that is so disqualifying on his behalf. He put out an ad today, not about his debate for president, an ad about debating me.” 

“This guy’s eye is so off the ball it really makes you wonder — oh wait, it doesn’t make you wonder why he’s bellyflopped in the polls,” he snarked. “It actually makes sense.” 


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