September 23, 2023

By Maggie Astor | New York Occasions

Since September, Gavin Newsom, California’s formidable, proudly liberal governor, has been tauntingly difficult Ron DeSantis, the formidable, proudly conservative governor of Florida, to a debate. He would even agree, he stated, to let the right-wing Fox Information host Sean Hannity reasonable.

On Wednesday, DeSantis accepted.

“You heard Gavin make the supply,” Hannity stated on his present. “Your reply is?”

“Completely,” a smiling DeSantis replied. “I’m sport. Let’s get it performed. Simply inform me when and the place.”

In a letter final week, Newsom outlined his proposed phrases: a date of Nov. 8 or 10; a location in Georgia, Nevada or North Carolina; and a spotlight “on the influence of illustration on the state stage.”

Nathan Click on, a spokesperson for Newsom, stated in a press release late Wednesday: “November eighth or tenth. DeSantis ought to put up or shut up. The rest is simply video games.”

Such an occasion would, maybe, be a mutually agreeable proposition for 2 males anticipating as a lot consideration as they will get.

Newsom has made no secret of the truth that he’s concerned with operating for president, maybe as quickly as 2028. And DeSantis’ personal presidential marketing campaign is being drowned out by the inescapable presence of former President Donald Trump, who led him by greater than 35 proportion factors in a latest New York Occasions/Siena School ballot on the Republican major, and whose three legal indictments have dominated the information for months.

DeSantis and Newsom have sought to current themselves because the platonic superb of a governor of their get together, and their state as a haven.

DeSantis has moved Florida sharply to the precise, signing legal guidelines that ban abortion after six weeks and limit transgender rights, and promoting his rejection of public well being measures throughout the pandemic. Newsom has signed in depth local weather measures, sought to make California a “sanctuary” for abortion entry for folks from out of state and lately referred to as for a constitutional modification to enact gun laws.

Final 12 months, Newsom ran adverts in Florida telling voters there, “Freedom is underneath assault in your state.” In June, DeSantis accused Newsom of getting a “fixation” on Florida and dared him to announce a major problem to President Joe Biden.

From the attitude of the present presidential race, although, Newsom is just not precisely the sparring companion DeSantis would like. The person he truly must defeat to have an opportunity of changing into president Trump is threatening to skip the Republican debate this month.

This story initially appeared within the New York Occasions: