The Red State vs Blue State Debate that took place on FNC, Thursday night, with Sean Hannity moderating the event, was a great success. I wanted to share my thoughts about the debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
I was looking forward to watching the debate that evening, so I wrote about it on Thursday. I believe that most of my predictions were correct. Although I missed the mark when I claimed that Gavin Newsom was a smooth speaker, I still stand by my statement. He may have a smooth voice in political speeches and television interviews, but during a discussion he appears very differently. Newsom can’t answer a question. He was not smooth. Maybe it was the material with which he had to work.
Newsom didn’t answer a single question. He threw each question Hannity asked aside and launched an attack against DeSantis, or Republicans in general. He switched the topic to get his talking points across. Nikki Fried was the chair of Florida Democratic Party, and I read this was his preparation for the debate. This was a big mistake. Fried lost the Democrat primaries to Charlie Crist during the last elections. You remember the last election when DeSantis’ reelection was won by 20 points. Newsom’s performance was not smooth. He made snide and rude remarks that had nothing to do with his questions.
The debate should have focused on the differences between a state that is red and one that is blue. The debate was named after this. Newsom tried to keep the debate focused on Joe Biden’s alleged achievements. There is no way he could win the debate on the merits because California is a failing state and there isn’t anything for Newsom to brag about. So, Newsom lied through the entire debate. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was lying on every answer, as he alternated between personal attacks against DeSantis and criticism of state management. He even went as far to say that DeSantis shouldn’t be in office. Drop out Nikki Haley can take on Trump in the primary.
“We have one thing in common: Neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” Mr. Newsom said early in the debate, only to follow later with a left hook about Mr. Trump’s polling lead in Florida. “How’s that going for you, Ron?” He taunted. “You’re down 41 points in your own state.”
Hannity then reminded Newsom of the fact that the debate wasn’t about the presidential race, but rather the contrast between New York and California.
As I predicted, Trump and Haley’s supporters were out after DeSantis throughout the debate. Newsom made reference to Trump and Haley as a way to attack DeSantis. Newsom didn’t come to debate the issues of red states versus blue states but to try to derail the DeSantis campaign. He failed miserably. DeSantis had a good preparation and put to rest his bad debating skills. He was able to wipe the floor with Newsom.
Newsom focused on deflecting the questions about his leadership and California’s problems. He can’t defend the failures of his leadership so he continued to just make up points he thought would damage DeSantis. Hannity used graphs, bar charts and other graphics to compare Florida with California. Florida was ahead. Newsom would ignore all the numbers in the graphics, and make up his own facts. He let the mask slip a bit when he said he couldn’t wait for PolitiFact to fact-check the claims during the debate. He knew that the liberal group would back him.
The alliance between Trump supporters and Newsom was fascinating. My X timeline was filled with snarky and premature declarations that DeSantis didn’t win the debate. It’s been a strange week for Trump. He received an endorsed from a BLM co-founder. Trump boasted about the endorsement. When did Republican candidates start bragging about BLM’s endorsement? Newsom referred to Trump by name several times Thursday night. It was as if the two were part of the exact same team.
It was frustrating that both candidates were talking over each other. During the debate, something interesting happened. DeSantis continued to pull out visual aides. He brought out a book taken from the classrooms of small children as an example of how not banning a book looks. The books were taken from the classrooms for the younger students and given to the older ones. The books didn’t go anywhere.
Newsom’s job was to spread talking points that would put Biden in the best light. Newsom was auditioning to become Biden’s national spokesman. He would be a great surrogate for Biden. He is a good liar and does it without shame.
DeSantis gave a remarkable performance. This was DeSantis’ best debate performance during the primary campaign. He kept to the facts and told about his experiences as a governor. He had his moments too. He told the story of meeting Newsom’s father-in-law which completely threw Newsom off. Newsom’s in-laws moved from California to Florida during the pandemic when Newsom had everything and everyone in isolation. Ouch.
I was talking with a man who had moved from California into Florida. He was telling me that Florida’s much better governed, safer, better budget, lower taxes.
He then paused to say ‘by the way, I’m Gavin Newsom’s father-in-law.’ pic.twitter.com/OSsYCRTJYo
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) December 1, 2023
Newsom’s reversal was tremendous.
DeSantis has also brought a poop map to San Francisco in order to illustrate the awful conditions of the city caused by the homeless issue. DeSantis pointed out that Newsom was the former mayor in San Francisco, who had promised to deal with the homeless issue but failed to do so.
Since Newsom didn’t have real facts to back up any of his claims, he just made things up as he went. When he was able, he used his righteous indignation. Take, for example, when he said that DeSantis had disrespected Kamala Harris’s name by mispronouncing it.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 1, 2023
DeSantis performed well. It was a brave move to debate, but the risk ended up being a win. Newsom was no match to the facts DeSantis put out to counter Newsom’s alternative reality. Will this help DeSantis gain ground in the GOP primaries? I guess we’ll find out. The debate reminded the audience that this could be the type of election that we have instead of the two politicians that the majority of voters would not like to face again.
I know one thing to be true after watching the debate – DeSantis is ready for primetime and Newsom is not.