The Empty East / West Coast Governor Debate Battle
With a political revival of the energy from the 90’s around the classic Biggie and Tupac beef between the east and west coast, Sean Hannity and Fox News have orchestrated a seemingly pointless but potentially entertaining debate battle between Governor Ron DeSantis from Florida and Governor Gavin Newsom from California.
The “Great Red & Blue State Debate” kicked off in Alpharetta, Georgia Thursday night, just north of Atlanta where Republican frontrunner for President Donald Trump is facing one of his indictments for asking questions about the authenticity of the 2020 election. As a voter, all of the indictments still feel like election interference to me and the choice to hold this debate in Georgia is a further sign of Fox News attempting to create internal party divides in hopes to distract the population from further support for Donald Trump. Anything they can do to remove Trump from the top spot and replace him with Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis seems to be the desired goal of this event.
At first I thought I would just skip out on this debate, but as the countdown crawled closer to showtime I decided I would go ahead and hear the two out for the night. I’ve said before that I do always enjoy a good debate. Regardless of what anyone thinks of either Ron DeSantis or Gavin Newsom, I believe it is always good for people to see both sides communicate ideas at the same time. Too often the modern media divide traps voters in bubbles of thought, and it is necessary for a democracy to showcase debate so that these bubbles are popped to further understanding.
Here though, the bubbles of thought that would be in support of either Ron DeSantis or Gavin Newsom are obvious and apparent. I doubt this debate will pop any bubbles or change any minds on either side, instead standing to serve as a mere distraction from the truths of the 2024 election.
Support for Ron DeSantis as the next President has plummeted over the past few months, while Gavin Newsom hasn’t even officially declared that he is running for President in 2024. Since neither of these people truly seem to be contenders for the position, it is worth asking yourself why this debate is even happening at all. Presidential aspirations aside, maybe this is just a Governor debate and maybe it might end up being good TV. The show hasn’t started yet here as I am writing this now, so we’ll have to wait and see.
In terms of debating between California and Florida, I have recently lived in both places. I lived in Florida during the first years of the Trump presidency after 2016, went on a self made music tour of 12 live shows over 9 months in 2019 by myself living on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, California, left back to Texas for a year during 2020 and then moved back to Florida for 2 more years after that. From my experience, Florida is beautiful and a great place to live, despite being too expensive to live normally. California was a nightmare of filth covered in luxury that was also too expensive to live normally. I believe I got to see the end of what made California cool in the days before Covid in 2020 and, while thankful for the time, I also learned that I would never like to live in California as a permanent resident. Covid was the end of California being a suitable option for residency. Florida was great the entire time and I personally chose it to live and work based on the leadership of DeSantis and the thought that he would keep it open for business so that I could keep working and try to live a normal life. While expensive, that’s what I did and I was happy with the decision. Still, Texas is better than both in my opinion.
My own past living aside and back to the debate tonight, walking in my expectations are slim to none. I don’t expect either of them to do a good job, I expect messy conversations, interruptions, lies and distractions. The topics tonight include state population changes, taxes, covid, immigration, crime, education, abortion, energy, housing, Israel, China and, of course, Donald Trump. Sitting down about to watch the debate now, I’m hoping to at least be entertained.
Before the debate, Trump posted on Truth Social about DeSantis, saying that, “Kiss of Death – Ron DeSantis is Thirsty AF – Ron DeSanctimonious is acting more like a thirsty, third rate OnlyFans wannabe model than an actual presidential candidate. Instead of actually campaigning and trying to turn around his dismal poll numbers, DeSanctus is now so desperate for attention that he’s debating a grade A loser like Gavin Newsom. At the debate, Ron will flail his arms and bobble his head wildly, looking more like a San Francisco crackhead than governor of Florida”. The post went on, hilariously, and is probably more entertaining than the debate I am about to watch here now. TV on, time to see the show.
To kick off the debate tonight, Hannity introduced Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom. Beginning with a question on population shifts within their two states over the past few years since covid, Hannity shared the data that California has lost 750,000 people while Florida gained 454,000 new residents. That’s a massive difference between the two states and obviously shows where the common population stands between looking at the two states’ functionality. There may not be a better metric to measure how people actually feel here than how many moved in and out. DeSantis spoke first, immediately calling out Gavin Newsom for speaking “A blizzard of lies to mask the failures” of his leadership in California which caused the mass exodus.
Newsom then came out looking slick as a snake oil salesman singing the flattery of empty thanks to Sean Hannity and Fox News for having him on to debate DeSantis. If you hear a politician start a conversation or debate with flattery and fake praise, that should be an instant red flag that you are dealing with a manipulative liar playing games of deception. Reader, understand that I certainly have a bias against Gavin Newsom. I personally believe he is amongst the worst of all of our modern “leadership”. I do still like DeSantis as a person, but do not support him being the next President of the United States either. I’m still a Trump supporter, so understand that I do have that bias. Newsom pivoted from puffing up Hannity to claiming that support for Democrats over Republicans is the difference between light and darkness. Silly thought coming from the guy who just magically cleaned the streets of San Francisco to welcome a communist dictator into the state. He went on to claim that DeSantis and Trump were working together to “light democracy on fire”, which is a joke as DeSantis and Trump are clearly against each other and both of their successes as Governor and President are anything but “lighting democracy on fire” as they were both elected into their positions through means of democracy in action. The 2020 election itself and the question if there was fraud is another matter, but if there was more fraud than is being reported, the people responsible for that corruption should be the ones targeted as “lighting democracy on fire”. Furthermore, his entire response had nothing to do with the initial question around why such great numbers of citizens decided to leave his state of California.
Then came the one sentence that would come to define the entire night, which actually came from Gavin Newsom as he closed his introductory statements after the first question saying that “There’s one thing that we have in common, that neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024”.
Not only is Newsom tossing aside his own political aspirations here and burying any talk of himself running in 2024, he’s also burying the thought that DeSantis has any chance to become the 2024 President too. This may be the most honest thing to come out of Gavin Newsom’s mouth tonight. With that statement alone, it seems obvious to me that Ron DeSantis, Sean Hannity and Fox News were all successfully lured into airing a California commercial for Fox News viewers. An epic fail for everyone but the uniparty.
Not only that, immediately after saying that neither of them would be the 2024 nominee, Newsom asked DeSantis, “When are you going to drop out and give Nikki Haley a shot to win?”. Sounds like he got the memo from JP Morgan Chase Bank & Jamie Dimon that everybody should drop what they are doing and support Nikki Haley.
Still not answering the question about state population, Gavin Newsom then began to boast about California having the 5th largest economy in the world. In a big win for DeSantis, he came back with the response that even Gavin Newsom’s own family packed up and moved as his own Father in Law decided to leave California to move to Florida.
Next up on the debate table was taxes. Florida has less taxation than California in every aspect other than property taxes. Florida has zero state income taxes, while California has a 6% tax on anyone making less than 84,000 dollars a year and has a 13% tax on anyone making above 1.35 million in a year. Since Gavin Newsom couldn’t answer as to why people were leaving California, this seems like a sure answer.
When it comes to how each state handled the covid pandemic, the expected responses were all that was spoken. Newsom said DeSantis wasn’t following the “science” and DeSantis called Newsom the “lockdown Governor”. I did live in Florida after covid and saw for myself that there were still lockdowns, mandates, checkpoints and closures, despite the narrative that Florida was the most open and forward thinking during covid. While DeSantis did do a better job at keeping the economy running, Newsom was justified in calling out the falsehoods on how DeSantis handled the situation. Despite both handling covid with vastly different approaches, it was interesting to see again that both California and Florida were well below the national death rate.
Heading into the first commercial break, even Hannity shared his honest take about the debate that “It’s been rather dull at the start”. No surprises here & shout out to Sean Hannity for self awareness. Spoiler alert – it didn’t get any better.
After the commercials, the show went on to cover the potential terrorist threats coming across our open border. They listed off the known numbers of foreign nationals entering the US illegally from adversary countries – 6,386 from Afghanistan, 659 from Iran, 538 from Syria, 12,605 from Russia and a whopping 26,113 from China. With California being a sanctuary state, I figured it would be interesting to hear Gavin Newsom respond to the question about if this posed a threat to national security.
Instead of a proper response, Newsom turned to talking about fentanyl, dodging another question. DeSantis said it was 100% a national security threat, but when Hannity asked Newsom again for a second time Newsom responded by talking about supporting Biden’s border plan with more money. Finally, after asking 3 times if the illegal immigration from adversary nations into our country was a national security threat, Newsom simply said that, “Yes… it is a concern”. If you ask me my opinion of his response, it would be that Newsom is obviously refraining from answering the question because he secretly supports mass immigration and doesn’t care where it comes from, legally or illegally, as long as it is bringing in new voters. He knows that all illegal immigrants will be forced to believe that Republicans will deport them and will always vote along Democratic party lines. I do not believe that he cares about the potential threat of terrorism crossing our border as long as new voters are being established.
On to violent crime, Florida is the clear victor here again based solely on the data. Rates for violent crime nationally are 380.7 per 100k, while California has a massive 499.5 per 100k, far above the national rate, and Florida has 258.9 per 100k, well below the national rate.
To this, Newsom instantly turned to focusing on gun crime and a recent mass shooting in Florida. DeSantis negated the spin by highlighting the collapse of public safety, the legalization of retail theft, their ease on sex offenders and favor of criminals over the common public good. California has high crime rates while having the #1 most restrictive gun laws and still had more mass shootings over the past two years than Florida. DeSantis finished this segment by calling out how he has heard women talking about having to take off their jewelry in California before walking out in the streets. To this, Newsom randomly responds by bringing up January 6th. His response made no sense whatsoever and only served to, yet again, negate the subject and cover himself with a distracted response to turn away from the question.
On education and sexual indoctrination of kids in our classrooms, DeSantis brought up his passing of a law to protect parents and children from teachers pushing gender transitioning and sexualization. As a father of a 7, 5 and 3 year old, DeSantis clearly has the ground to stand and speak on this subject. He even brings an example of a sexual education book being shown to little kids that shouldn’t be in school, where Newsom responds that DeSantis is “using education as a sword for cultural purge”. Sounds like double speak to me. Especially when California is the state that says children can get hormone therapy or a sex change surgery without parental consent. This is an absolute assault on parental rights that Gavin Newsom has no ground to stand and defend. He doesn’t even try. All of this aside, just look at the numbers again – Florida has the #1 spot in education ranking in the US, all while California spends 4,000 dollars more per student per year on education and still comes up ranked 20th in the national standing for educational success.
Abortion came up next, with Newsom wanting no restrictions on abortion whatsoever and DeSantis taking the hard opposite approach of cutting off abortion at 6 weeks, believing in a “culture of life” where abortion cannot be done after a heartbeat is detected. Newsom tried to get DeSantis to say that he would support a national ban at 6 weeks, but DeSantis himself stated that he still supports individual states rights to decide for themselves how to handle abortion.
Next, Hannity asked them both to letter grade the performance of the Biden administration. With the expected answers given, Newsom gave Biden an A while DeSantis gave Biden an F. Newsom says here again that he will not be running at all and that Biden will be the Democratic nominee, with Kamala Harris running if Biden happens to drop out. He also says again that DeSantis will not be the nominee and that the next election will be between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
On energy, DeSantis calls out Newsom’s “government dictated green energy policies”, the failure of the electric vehicle mandate (and how a few days after that announcement, the state had to ask electric vehicle users to refrain from charging their cars during an energy shortage) and the difference of average gas prices – 4.85 a gallon in California to 3.17 a gallon in Florida. Newsom didn’t have much to say on energy here.
The homeless issue comes up next and both devolve into talking over each other with each attempting to call the other a bully. DeSantis calls out the tent cities and open air drug dealing, while Newsom continues to use the bully card. DeSantis even calls out Newsom’s failed “10 year plan” from back as the San Francisco mayor that ultimately failed as he did not end up eliminating homeless and rather has seen a 45% increase in the region of homelessness.
Conquering the bully talk, DeSantis then calls out Newsom for cleaning up homelessness in San Francisco to welcome a communist dictator last week (read my last article to further understand the disaster that was) and then pulls out an app mapping all the human excrement in the streets of San Francisco. The results speak for themselves & I have seen it myself when I lived in Los Angeles. I had just bought tacos from a local restaurant, took them to go, walked outside the store only to see a grown man hunched over pooping on the street a few feet in front of me. I had never seen anything like that in my life and it blew my mind at the time. Nobody cared.
Next the conversation moved on to quickly glossing over the vastly important issues of Israel and China. Both showed support for Israel. On China, DeSantis spoke about stopping Chinese investment into schools and stopping Chinese money buying up Florida land. Gavin Newsom, just coming off a meeting where he himself flew to China to meet with Xi in person, again changed the conversation shifting to talking about Trump again. Every response from both sides tonight just feels empty.
The closing question was about each candidate sharing what they love about the other candidate’s state. Ron DeSantis showed nothing but love for California here, sharing his time in military service stationed in California and his love for the natural beauty of the land. Newsom went on to show some praise for DeSantis, but spoke no words of love for the state of Florida.
Hannity then took the opportunity to cut to another commercial break after declaring that they would be extending the debate for another segment, but as soon as the commercial break ended Hannity came back on TV saying that both candidates realized they had “other commitments”.
What commitments would either of them have this late on Thursday night when you have been advertising this for a month? Neither of them have anything better to do, the network just decided to cut it all off and turn to the panel for analysis. Nobody cares, not even Ron DeSantis, Gavin Newsom, Sean Hannity or Fox News.
In conclusion, sitting here in silence after wasting time watching this debate, I don’t think that any of this convinced anyone either way, resulting in no change whatsoever. The clear winner of this debate, yet again, is Donald Trump.
After the debate ended, Trump shared a debate clip altered by artificial intelligence making fun of the whole show by using a fake Hannity voice that said, “Alright… welcome back to debates that nobody really gives a sh*t about… first question – Have you ever betrayed the greatest President who ever lived Donald J. Trump?”. The video went on for about a minute, making fun of both Newsom and DeSantis, with a debate headline claiming that the debate was being held in “Loserville”. Certainly a stupid clip, but surely more entertaining than the entirety of the debate. With a simple joke, Trump erases a month of hype and 2 hours of pointless debate.
Right now, Trump is polling much higher than all of his competition. RealClearPolitics has him up 59 points, with Trump having 68 points, DeSantis 9, Nikki Haley 7, Ramaswamy 4 and Christie 1. If you want to understand the politics of the people instead of the politics of the media, these numbers clearly show the real state of the political race. This debate between Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom was an unnecessary, silly, pointless waste of all voters’ time. I am still struggling to grasp the reason for this happening in the first place. Trump wins the people’s vote, Fox News looks stupid, Ron DeSantis looks worse and Gavin looks better to Democrats for being willing to be on Fox. It’s a loss for Fox, a loss for Ron, a loss for the voter and a loss for the Republican Party. Why does this self destruction still happen? And you wonder why the Republican Party is broke? It is simply because it would rather serve the uniparty than the people of America.
To sum up the entire event, I woke up this morning to see that “Newscum” was trending on X. I guess Ron DeSantis won the Governor debate battle, but we didn’t need to see a Fox News special to understand that. A simple look at the data would have been more than enough. But if the goal was to ruin both of their careers, maybe it was a successful event.
Back to the 90’s west east coast metaphor for this whole event being like the Tupac and Biggie beef, does that make Jamie Dimon the Diddy of this situation? That’s a joke, but I’m not sure if this event is helping Nikki Haley any either. Really, when it comes down to it, this entire event just makes it even more clear that Trump should be the next President of the United States. The Republican Party and Fox News would do a great service to themselves by just accepting this fact, but I doubt that this will ever be the case.
Go woke, go broke, as they say, and I wonder if Fox News and the Republican Party establishment are up next on that front. I hope not. I’d much rather see Fox News and the Republican Party actually get themselves back together and remember why they exist in the first place – for the people.