Newsom challenges Florida’s DeSantis to debate

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday challenged his Florida counterpart Ron DeSantis to a televised debate, escalating his criticism of Republican governors’ mass transportation of migrants to liberal bastions as “reprehensible” and potentially illegal.

“Hey [DeSantis]They’re obviously struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives. Newsom tweeted Friday afternoon. “Since you have only one overriding need – attention – let’s take that up and discuss it. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Give the time before election day.”

On Wednesday night, DeSantis sent a group of about 50 migrants by plane to Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for wealthy liberals in Massachusetts. On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott brought a group of nearly 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, DC, reinforcing a tactic GOP governors have used in recent months to crack down on illegal immigration protest.

“Like millions of Americans, I was appalled by the images of migrants being shipped across the country on buses and planes to be used as political props,” Newsom said in a letter to US Atty on Thursday. General Merrick Garland asking the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis’ actions.

Some of the migrants said they were mistakenly told they were being transported to Boston, where they could obtain work permits, Newsom said.

When asked about the letter during an event on Friday, DeSantis responded with a joke about Newsom’s hair.

“I think his hair gel is interfering with his brain function,” he said.

Newsom took the opportunity to direct his challenge to DeSantis, sharing an August tweet in which former CBS news anchor Dan Rather raised the idea of ​​a possible prime-time debate between the two governors, both of whom were believed to be they harbor presidential ambitions.

“I bet the reviews would be huge. Who would have the guts to show up?” said Rather, who published an article Friday calling the DeSantis and Abbott migrant transports “a shameful stunt.”

DeSantis had not responded publicly as of Friday night.

Newsom has made it a habit for months to compare California’s policies to those of Texas and Florida.

This summer, as part of his re-election campaign in Florida, he ran a television ad criticizing that state’s restrictive abortion policy and a law that bans teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

“I urge all of you who live in Florida to join the fight or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom from hate and freedom to love,” Newsom said in the ad .

Newsom has repeatedly denied he’s considering running for president, but many political observers are skeptical, especially as he’s targeting DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP nominee.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-16/newsom-desantis-debate-challenge-marthas-vineyard-migrant-flights Newsom challenges Florida’s DeSantis to debate

Alley Einstein

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