DeSantis, Newsom Agree to Debate on Fox

Sean Hannity will moderate debate between Republican, Democratic governors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 7:15 PM CDT
DeSantis, Newsom Agree to Debate on Fox
In this combination of photos, Ron DeSantis speaks on Sept. 16, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa, at left, and Gavin Newsom, speaks on Sept. 12, 2023, in Sacramento, Calif., at right.   (AP Photo)

While Donald Trump is shunning Republican debates, one of his rivals for the GOP nomination has agreed to debate somebody he isn't even running against. Fox News says Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has agreed to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Nov. 30, NBC News reports. Fox says the debate will be moderated by Sean Hannity and will air from Georgia at 9pm Eastern. On the campaign trail, DeSantis has been slamming the Democratic governor on issues including homelessness and the response to the pandemic. "I look forward to the opportunity to debate Gavin Newsom over our very different visions for the future of our country," DeSantis said Monday in a post on X.

DeSantis accepted Newsom's challenge to a debate in August, but it took weeks to hammer out the details, the New York Times reports. "We've agreed to the debate—provided there is no cheering section, no hype videos or any of the other crutches DeSantis requested. We want a real debate not a circus," Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said Monday. Newsom has said he has no intention of challenging President Biden for the Democratic nomination, though DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo suggested he could still become the nominee.

Both Democrats "offer the same failed and dangerous ideology for America that helped get us in this mess," Romeo said. "We look forward to putting Ron DeSantis' record of success up against it." Hannity said he is "looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American." The Times notes that DeSantis' decision to debate someone who isn't running for the same office is "nearly without precedent" for a presidential candidate—and will likely be seen as a sign of how far he has fallen behind Trump. (More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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