Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday said that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, with whom he engaged in a feisty debate on “Hannity” this week, is “obviously preparing” to run for president — despite denials from his Democrat rival.
DeSantis was in Sioux City, Iowa and took aim at what he said were the “failed” policies in the liberal California state, as he had done at the televised debate between him and Newsom on Thursday night.
“It’s the policies. It’s the policies that are driving people out. This is ultimately the choice for the country: Are we going to embrace freedom like Florida has or are we going to embrace failure? The same policies that have failed in Illinois and California and New York aren’t all of a sudden going to work well nationally,” he said.
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“What they’ve done in California is the petri dish for what I think the Democrats would want to do nationally,” he said, before speculating as to which potential president that would be under.
“Maybe that’s a [President] Biden second term. Maybe that’s [Vice-President] Harris, Maybe it’s Newsom,” he said. “He’s obviously preparing to potentially go in. I think America saw, though, that what he’s selling is not something that is very appetizing.”
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Newsom has been the subject of significant speculation about a potential presidential run, but has repeatedly denied that he is gearing up for a White House run. DeSantis, meanwhile, is running for the Republican nomination in 2024, although polls show him significantly behind former President Donald Trump.
Newsom took a jab at DeSantis over his standing in the polls in the debate on Thursday night.
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“There are profound differences tonight, and I look forward to engaging them. But there’s one thing…that we have in common, is neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” he said.
DeSantis later accused Newsom of wanting to run for president: “You just won’t admit it,” he said.