It’s Happening: DeSantis & Newsom to Debate in November

The years-long feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom will reach a boiling point this fall, with both political giants agreeing to a televised debate on November 30. Fox News announced Monday that host Sean Hannity will moderate the 90-minute debate, which the network says will be the “first time the two prominent governors will face off in a debate.” The two governors will square off in Georgia.

“I’m looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American,” Hannity said.

“Decline is a choice, and success is attainable. As President, I will lead America’s revival. I look forward to the opportunity to debate Gavin Newsom over our very different visions for the future of our country,” DeSantis posted on X, along with a video billing the debate as “Revival vs. Decline.”

“The future for the country, for what the left would want to do, is just double down on the California policies, and so I think it’s going to be an important debate,” ~ Gov. Ron DeSantis to The New York Times

Newsom and DeSantis agreed to the debate during separate interviews with Hannity in early August. Disagreement over the terms and logistics of the debate kept the event in doubt for over a month, however.

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“We’ve agreed to the debate — provided there is no cheering section, no hype videos or any of the other crutches DeSantis requested,” said Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom. “We want a real debate — not a circus.”

The two governors have sniped at one another over the planned debate in recent weeks, with both political leaders promising their supporters an easy victory.

“I mean, in one respect, the debate between California and Florida has already been had, as you suggest. People have been voting on that,” DeSantis said in an interview with Hannity back in August. “They’ve been voting on it with their feet. They have fled California in record numbers.”

The pair have frequently clashed in recent years over a variety of topics, including immigration, gun control, abortion, as well as gender and race ideology in classrooms.

Both governors are term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

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Newsom’s high-profile feuding with DeSantis and eagerness to square off on live television has raised suspicions that the California Democrat may be gearing up for his own presidential run. While Newsom has adamantly denied that he has any plans to challenge President Joe Biden, his forays into the spotlight are reportedly seen by many in the White House as a challenge to Vice President Kamala Harris.

One advisor to the Vice President described Newsom’s attention-seeking as “disrespectful,” according to an August report from NBC News.

The DeSantis v. Newsom debate will come after the third GOP primary debate, scheduled for November 8 in Miami.

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