Newsom Airs Anti-GOP Ad in Florida

Fellow Democrats applaud taking the fight to Republicans
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2022 5:45 PM CDT
Updated Jul 4, 2022 8:00 PM CDT
'Join Us in California,' Newsom Ad Tells Floridians
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, shown in January, bought ad time in Florida.   (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom launched a commercial Monday attacking Republicans he's not running against—yet. The Democrat addresses Floridians in a 30-second spot that began airing Monday on Fox News stations throughout their state, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Freedom, it's under attack in your state. Republican leaders, they're banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors," the Democrat says in the commercial. "I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom—freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate, and the freedom to love."

The move suggests something a candidate for national office might do, contrasting policies in his Democratically controlled state with those of Republican-run Florida. Newsom is a potential presidential candidate, as is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican. Newsom has moved out front on issues in his party, recently, per the Times, upsetting its leaders in Washington by urging they do more on issues such as abortion. "Stop playing defense, Democrats," Newsom said last month. The aggressiveness is exactly what Democrats praised about Newsom's ad after he tweeted it, per Newsweek.

Pam Keith, a former Florida congressional candidate, tweeted that the commercial was "the first time a Democrat anywhere has proactively taken the fight to a Republican anywhere." Democratic strategist Dash Dobrofsky posted, "I encourage Democrats to do more of this." By Sunday evening, after Newsom had tweeted the ad but before it had actually run, the video had been viewed 1.4 million times on Twitter and 90,000 times on YouTube. It didn't require a big investment: At the end of May, Newsom's reelection campaign had more than $23 million, per the Times; the Florida buy cost about $105,000. (More Gavin Newsom stories.)

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