Politico quotes Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom, as saying, “What a joke.” “Desantis’ counterproposal is replete with crutches to cover his fear and incompetence—swapping opening speeches with a promotional film, shortening the amount of time he must spend on stage, adding cheat notes, and a cheering section.
Ron ought to be able to stand by himself, Click continued. “Trump is kicking his ass, and it’s no wonder.”
As tensions between the two governors, who have both occasionally been heralded as the future of their respective parties, have risen in recent months, Newsom has regularly challenged DeSantis to a debate.
The California governor declared in June that he would be open to taking part in a discussion hosted by Sean Hannity of Fox News, despite his promises that he will not oppose President Biden for the presidency in 2024.
On Wednesday, DeSantis responded, “Absolutely,” to Hannity’s dare. Let’s get it done; I’m up for it. Simply state the time and location.
The DeSantis campaign reacted on Friday to a suggestion for the debate that the Newsom camp had given out earlier in the week.
According to the letter acquired by Politico, the Florida governor’s counterproposal called for the two candidates to debate and give a two-minute opening statement “to make the case for their governing philosophy” in front of a live audience rather than an empty room.
The two ideas do, however, cross over somewhat. According to Politico, both men agreed to have Hannity mediate a 90-minute discussion during which DeSantis and Newsom would each have 15 minutes. The governors appear to agree on the proposed dates and places as each include Georgia and November 8 in their suggestions.