California Gov. Gavin Newsom must really be considering a bid for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination because he is doing everything he can to raise his national profile by attacking another leading contender for the GOP nom, Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Only, Newsom’s efforts to goad his Sunshine State rival are falling flat in many quarters, drawing mocking and groans.
Days after the California Democrat [falsely] accused DeSantis of criminal “human trafficking” in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for sending a planeload of illegal migrants to liberal Martha’s Vineyard, Newsom is now begging the Florida governor (who is a Harvard-educated lawyer, by the way) to “debate” him.
Without offering any evidence, Newsom claimed that the migrants were sent with “the intent” to be “humiliate[d] and dehumanize[d].” But in fact, MSNBC reported Friday afternoon that the immigrants were “not angry with Ron DeSantis” and that they are “actually thanking him for having brought them to Martha’s Vineyard.”
Residents and officials in Martha’s Vineyard and the state of Massachusetts have responded by busing the migrants to a military base where they were met by National Guard troops, by the way. So much for the welcoming “sanctuary” open-borders schtick.
DeSantis responded to Newsom’s complaints by joking that the inordinate amount of hair gel the California governor apparently uses was “interfering with his brain function.”
“So, the governor of California sent a letter to the Department of Justice saying, ‘You need to prosecute Texas and Florida governors,’” DeSantis said during an event over the weekend.
“And all I can say is, I think his hair gel is interfering with his brain function,” DeSantis added to applause and laughter from the crowd.
At that, Newsom dug up a tweet from disgraced CBS News anchor Dan Rather from a month ago and suggested the two governors debate.
“Hey @GovRonDeSantis, clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom claimed. “Since you have only one overriding need — attention — let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.”
Hey @GovRonDeSantis, clearly you're struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives. Since you have only one overriding need — attention –let's take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day. @CNN https://t.co/vTJHQxfArW
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 16, 2022
The ‘challenge’ drew mocking responses online, including by a former staffer, Bob Brigham, who is now a senior editor at Raw Story, according to The Daily Wire.
“One of the fundamental rules of politics is that the only person who demands debates is the person losing the argument,” Brigham wrote. “(disclosure, ex-Newsom staffer).”
Joel Pollak, Breitbart News editor-at-large, tweeted: “This is a weak response. Newsom started the fight with threats of arrest, and tries to end it with hair products.”
“Oh FFS. This is all so pathetic. It’s why politicians are in total disrepute,” Fox News host Steve Hilton, who lives in California, tweeted. “Can’t these people focus on solving problems in a practical way instead of all this nonsense?”
Hans Mahncke, a political commentator, tweeted: “Newsom wants to elevate DeSantis to elevate himself. That’s the main thing here. But he’s probably also figured that his own chances with Democrat primary voters will rise considerably if DeSantis is the GOP nominee.”
“California governor paying for re-election billboards in other states accuses Florida governor of being desperate for attention,” political analyst Rob Pyers added.
“Look at me! Look at me!” retired baseball player Dennis Sarfate noted on Twitter. “This screams nobody is paying attention to me so I need to get back in the spot light.”