DeSantis goes on the offense in Red-Blue debate

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSanctis came swinging against Democratic California Gov. Gaven Newsom, but did not muss his well-lubricated hair.

It was called the Red State-Blue State debate, and it pretty much was that. 

Moderator Sean Hannity was generally fair, but his choice of topics — hammering abortion, for instance — reflected his conservative views, and he often did not allow Newsom time to respond to DeSantis’ blistering broadsides.

DeSantis chronically responded to Newsom’s points by calling them lies, while Newsom generally just smiled while accusing DeSantis of hypocrisy.

The fact checkers are busy as I write this. The two could not agree who did best on education, homelessness, taxes, Covid deaths, parental rights. 

DeSantis constantly interrupted Newsom with no interference from Hannity, who sat dumb as a post.

Television is a cool medium, said Marshall McLuhan, and Newsom was cool, while DeSantis was practically red-faced, to his disadvantage. He seemed grim and angry.

Newsom’s lowest moment came at the close, with the topic of the Mideast war, and anti-Semitism.

Newsom firmly sided with Israel, but then said, astonishingly, that “anti-Semitism occurred on his watch,” meaning DeSantis.

DeSantis’ watch? Who is president? 

DeSantis replied that Florida rescued 700 Americans by air at the start of the war.

DaSantis was there to boost his candidacy for the presidency. Newsom was there as a surrogate for President Joe Biden.

I admit to a bit of anti-Newsom bias — too much of a pretty boy with a thin sheen of oil — but it seemed he didn’t have solid answers to many questions, such as why in recent years Florida’s population is growing, and for the first time, California is losing population. Newsom talked about the many great things about California’s economy, but didn’t address the population loss.

DeSantis explained the many reasons for people to leave California: Taxes, crime, homelessness, education, etc. 

Newsom said Florida’s taxes were regressive, but couldn’t make it stick.

Newsom had no response when DeSantis revealed Newsom’s own father-in-law recently relocated from California to Florida. 


DeSantis tried to smile (when not interrupting) when Newsom was talking, but he seemed like he was constipated and trying to let one loose.

Abortion. Here is what they would not come right out and say: DeSantis would sign a bill to ban abortion after six weeks; Newsom would not restrict abortion at all.

DeSantis repeatedly talked about the high cost of California gas, the nation’s highest. Newsom blamed it on Big Oil, which doesn’t explain why it is higher in Cali, than, say New Jersey. (The answer is California’s very strict environmental standards.)

The two argued about which state offered more freedom to its citizens. Newsom said Florida was not friendly to women (abortion) and LGBT people (so-called “don’t say gay” legislation). 

I think each state is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

15 thoughts on “DeSantis goes on the offense in Red-Blue debate”

  1. My observations generally reflect yours, although I think Newsom interrupted much more than DeSantis, and continued to talk…and talk…and talk. But that is just a perceptual observation. I think Newsom “squirmed” more than DeSantis and overall body language was interesting…and revealing. Overall, I came away with the feeling that none of this was worth watching, and so I rebelled by muting the volume on the endless flow of commercials which, in some way, made me feel better about the waste of two hours of my time.

  2. Newsom proved to the country what a lying slime ball he is. Anyone who is paying attention knows how he is ruining California and the quality of life in that state. The same thing is happening in all our democratic run states and cities. Newsom says Biden deserves an A for the job he’s done in the White House. This man is a joke and the Democratic Party is destroying our country.

  3. We were out and I didn’t get to watch the debate, so thanks for the recap. Pretty much as I expected. Newsome comes off as a happy warrior, DeSantis as a mean spirited individual who doesn’t do well when his views are challenged. This whole thing might just be a preview for 2028 anyway.

  4. Florida works, California doesn’t. I don’t care about the personalities, the smiles, the clothing, the suntan or anything else about those who run the various states. All I care about is whether the state works. Florida works, California doesn’t. And the people affected know it, which is why Florida is growing and California is shrinking.

  5. I did not watch the debate because honestly, why would I? It is meaningless in the context of 2023-2024 politics. DeSantis is going nowhere and Newsome is not running for anything nationally. However, I did find it interesting that the vast majority of Trump-ish viewers are firmly convinced DeSantis “won” and the vast majority of liberals are firmly convinced Newsome “won.” Just see the above comments as evidence of that. I mean, look at Vince up there claiming Florida “works” and California “doesn’t”. I would opine that anyone paying an insurance bill or working as a teacher in Florida would beg to differ, and I would also suggest that the people making these statements above have never lived for any length of time in either California nor Florida, and hence are getting those opinions from what they read in whatever media they follow rather than from, ya know, actual reality that they themselves have experienced. Though I realize it’s a small sample, I was in San Francisco last year, and I found it beautiful, clean, and safe. But again, these are all just opinions, and my point is that the useless debate obviously didn’t change any of those. I would suggest reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies instead.

    1. I watched because I feel I have to, in my line of work.
      One thing you could seem aside from the opinions, are the graphics that compared the two states in taxation rates, Covid deaths, homelessness, educational attainment.
      I felt DeSantis won on the facts, Newsom won on presentation.
      (I have been to both states, although I never lived there. DeSantis did live in Cali, and praised it for unmatched physical beauty, but his SF “poop map” was kind of a shocker.)

    2. You would think the city of Philadelphia was beautiful if you didn’t leave center city. You wouldn’t see the drug infested killing fields the rest of the city has become. All of the democratic run cities are becoming shit hole cities like Philadelphia. Open your eyes and pay attention.

    3. Everyone but you noticed how Newsom got rid of the tent cities and homeless in San. Francisco. They cleaned and scrubbed the city because the Chinese were visiting. But he wouldn’t do it for the tax paying citizens. Your democrats at work.

    4. I lived in California, and one of my four sons lives with his family in Florida. Whining about the cost of insurance in Florida and glossing over the insane taxes and costs in California is choking on gnats and swallowing elephants.

  6. Regardless of who one agrees or disagrees with, sorry to say but as a debater, Newsom handily beat DeSanti (not on facts; just debate). Conservative friends have acknowledged that as well. Actually not only in this showdown but also in GOP primary ones, DeSantis is simply a bad debater. If you turn the sound off, you will notice a complete bobble head and yes, he does always look angry as Stu observed in last night’s event. Yet on one on one interviews, sometimes immediately after debates, he is actually very affable and speaks well.

    Newsom had nothing to lose as he is not a candidate (yet). I think he hurt DeSantis a little with GOP base voters with a “kiss of death” strategy by pointing out times DeSantis did things during COVID that GOP base voters oppose. The whole “he was once with us” locking down and following Fauci bit. Fecitiously speaking, I was almost thinking that Trump or Haley paid Newsom to do this (as they would have the most to gain). From his campaign standpoint, this was a bad idea for DeSantis to do this.

    In addition, you are not going to have a measured debate when either of the two are a candidate in a primary and need to stick to talking points. Better to have it between individuals without an election at the time.

    Finally, while Newsom is smooth, he also comes of as a smug eitist. He is basically an Al Gore or Mitt Romney with a better smile. If the Dems are really thinking or going with someone other than Biden, not sure why the same party that was scared to go with Bernie Sanders would resort to another hardcore blue state left-winger.

  7. We have become a nation of political dwarves, Including the walking case of dementia in the WH, and the really scary nut who wants the job back.

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