DeSantis vs. Newsom Debate Plan Sparks Dem Infighting – ‘Disrespectful’
The upcoming debate between Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom has reportedly sparked infighting in the Democratic Party, with White House advisers calling the California Governor’s plan “disrespectful.” A report published Sunday suggests that top figures in the party are growing tired of Newsom, suspected of waging a ‘shadow’ presidential campaign against 80-year-old incumbent Joe Biden.
“It’s disrespectful,” said an outside adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris, according to an NBC News report over the weekend. “Joe Biden is running with Kamala Harris. That’s the Democratic ticket.”
The unnamed adviser is reportedly one of several in the White House orbit who have come to view Newsom as a “nuisance,” citing primarily his agreement to debate DeSantis on a program moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom is increasingly being viewed as a nuisance to some of President Joe Biden’s political advisers, according to four people familiar with the matter.” ~ NBC News, Aug. 27, 2023
While advisers to the President do not believe that Newsom is planning a primary challenge to Biden, they are reportedly still apprehensive of his recent forays into the spotlight, viewing his actions as too high-risk. Many of those advisers have expressed that despite Newsom’s intentions, the debate will convince voters that he is running a shadow campaign for the Oval Office.
This comes amid serious concerns from most Americans about Biden’s age and ability to govern effectively, with 69 percent of Democrats believing he is “too old” for a second term, according to the Associated Press.
"It's disrespectful," one outside adviser to Kamala Harris said of Newsom. "Joe Biden is running with Kamala Harris. That's the Democratic ticket."@jonallendc @carolelee @albamonica https://t.co/jBRc2zKMdh
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) August 27, 2023
Newsom is also reportedly disliked even more by advisers to the Vice President, who believe that the California Governor is positioning himself to run for the 2028 nomination and hurt Harris’s chances. One adviser reportedly told NBC that Newsom had undermined Harris by recently inserting himself into the dispute between her and Governor DeSantis over Florida’s history curriculum.
“It could either look one of two ways: like he tried to defend her because she couldn’t defend herself or that he was being thirsty for attention or to get in the fight […] And it was at a time when the VP had completely dismissed and won the fight with DeSantis, and I think Gavin gave him a second life.”
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NBC: Kamala Harris allies "particularly annoyed" that Biden is prepping Newsom as a replacement.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) August 28, 2023
Newsom and DeSantis have engaged in several high-profile feuds since the start of the Florida Governor’s administration in 2019. The two have clashed over their states’ wildly different approaches to issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, illegal immigration, and the proliferation of gender ideology in elementary schools. Newsom has even run ads in Florida attacking DeSantis’ policy positions.
Earlier this month, DeSantis accepted an invite from Newsom to stand toe-to-toe in a debate. While both camps have since insisted that they are still willing to debate, the plan has stalled amid disagreement over the rules and format. Both governors have agreed to have the debate moderated by Sean Hannity.
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