Gavin Newsom vs Ron DeSantis: CA Gov Thinks Donald Trump is Out of the Way and Sets his Sights on FL Gov
Normally, Florida and California eye each other from a distance but stay out of each other's politics. On opposite sides
Normally, Florida and California eye each other from a distance but stay out of each other's politics. On opposite sides of the continent, they also tend to occupy opposite ends of the political spectrum. While California and Florida politicians might occasionally spar, it usually sticks to quiet rumblings in the federal legislature.
Now, those rumblings have become a roar as California Governor Gavin Newsom sets his sights on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Clearly, Newsom believes that former President Donald Trump is out of the way for '24 thanks to the damning House January 6 panel revelations, and he's focusing on who he thinks has the best chance to win for Republicans.
Here's what Newsom is doing, and why people may believe this is all a lead-up to Newsom announcing his own candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2024.
Gavin Taking on Ron
As the House doggedly continues their hearings over what happened on January 6 and more and more evidence mounts against the former president, the political landscape is shifting seismically.
Top Republican mega-donors are shifting away from Trump and eyeing up-and-coming Republican darling, Ron DeSantis. Playbooks are also shifting in DeSantis' favor, showing him winning in a theoretical match-up against Donald Trump – and, much to Democrats' Dismay – against sitting President Joe Biden.
The California Governor seems to believe that Trump's ship is sunk whether or not indictments follow from January 6, and he's zeroing in on the next best thing the Republicans have to offer: DeSantis.
Newsom recently bought over $100K worth of ad spots on Fox News in Florida encouraging viewers to take DeSantis down over his actions against LGBTQ individuals, voting rights, "critical race theory" and abortion rights.
It seems to be just the start of Newsom's campaign against DeSantis, setting himself up as a reasonable alternative – a strange play for a guy who says he has zero interest in the presidency.
However, DeSantis has said the same thing – and playbooks and voters clearly aren't buying it from him either. Newsom's volley against DeSantis is being seen as his first step towards clinching the 2024 nomination – a heavy blow if he does happen to wrest it away from the incumbent, Biden.
But Newsom has overseen a prosperous California. Although the state has some of the highest taxes in the country, it also maintains a surplus – compare that to Florida's balanced budget that has zero wiggle room, and Newsom might appeal to even fiscal conservatives who tend to eschew Democrat politicians.
And some Democrats are already on board. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he likes Newsom's style.
The Hill reports, "In an appearance on CNN’s 'New Day' on Tuesday, Murphy said he liked his fellow Democratic governor’s approach was asked by host Brianna Keilar about Newsom’s 30-second ad slamming DeSantis over a wave of new legislation targeting LGBTQ rights, voting rights, so-called 'critical race theory' and abortion.
'I think we need to be we need to stand up and be counted and make sure we remind folks around the country, if you value values come to states like New Jersey and I suspect that’s exactly what Governor Newsom has in mind in terms of California’s values,' Murphy said."
As the ripples from Newsom's first move spread over the coming weeks, Democrat and Independent voter reaction will be vital to showing how voters feel about a potential Newsom run – and DeSantis' prospects.
Trump Plans to Announce ’24 Run Soon – Will It Help or Hurt?
While the country turns its eyes to the first move between Newsom and DeSantis, rumblings from the Trump camp suggest that he may be announcing his intent to run in 2024.
The former president has thus far been hesitant to announce his intent to run because once he does, his coffers become subject to campaign finance rules.
But Trump may be running out of time as the House panel zeroes in on his culpability for January 6, and the Justice Department ramps up their investigation behind the scenes.
Trump's camp hopes that his announcement could deflect heat from the House panel and start stirring up enthusiasm instead of letting Trump's star fizzle and burn out as it currently appears to be doing.
But not everyone is convinced – many suggest that Trump's announcement would look desperate and obvious, and it's exactly that sort of theater that voters and donors are tiring of.