California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) accused Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) of bigotry in his latest attack on his conservative counterpart in the Sunshine State.
In an interview with Fox LA, Newsom admitted to having never met DeSantis but levied a verbal assault against him when Elex Michaelson, host of the station’s The Issue Is, asked Newsom what he would say to the Florida governor.
I asked him what he would say to him if he did?
"Stop being a bully. Stop belittling people who look differently, act differently love different. Who the hell are you? Stop!"
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) July 15, 2022
“You know, stop treating – stop being a bully. Stop belittling people that look differently, act differently, love differently,” Newsom said. “Who the hell are you? Stop. Stop threatening people. Stop being so coercive.”
This is Newsom’s latest targeting of DeSantis, whose name he mispronounced as DeSantos. The California governor recently launched an ad attacking Florida’s conservative leaders. Aired on July 4, the ad attempted to paint California as a freer state than Florida, though both states’ track records in recent years indicate otherwise, mainly in the handling of the Chinese coronavirus. California implemented strict, sweeping, collectivist mandates that gave a myriad of directives to constituents, while Florida left much more freedom to individuals as to how they would navigate the pandemic.
“Florida also distinguished itself from California and other liberal states by reopening its economy early in the pandemic,” as Breitbart News noted. “The result in terms of health outcomes was not dramatically different; however, Florida’s economy avoided California’s decline.”
Nonetheless, Newsom attempted to frame Florida as a state with fewer liberties in his ad.
We’re about to celebrate Independence Day — but Freedom is under attack by Republican leaders in states like Florida.
Making it harder to vote.
Criminalizing women and doctors.
It’s time to stand up. Don’t let them take your freedom. pic.twitter.com/cFI5UzgZzX
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 3, 2022
“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,” he said in part, per the Sacramento Bee.
DeSantis hit back hard at the California governor.
“When families are uprooting from the Pacific coast to go almost 3,000 miles in search of a better life, that’s telling you something. Yes, we’ve created a citadel of freedom here that has attracted people, and we’re proud of it,” the Florida governor said, adding:
But let’s just be clear, California is driving people away with their terrible governance. Some of the best weather in the world in southern California, they have some of the best natural advantages, probably the best natural advantages of any state in this country. And for the entire history of California, they never lost population until this recent governor got into office, and now they’re hemorrhaging population.
Newsom has taken aim at DeSantis in an apparent effort to garner national attention, and he “is thought to be laying the foundation for a future presidential campaign,” as Breitbart News previously pointed out.
While rumors have swirled regarding a presidential bid, Newsom, who is up for reelection in California this November, denied eyeing a run for the White House in 2024 while speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle in May, stating that “[i]t’s not even on my radar.” He then voiced his desire for Vice President Kamala Harris, who has an abysmal favorability rating, to be “the next president of the United States.”