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.