Newsom: “Neither of us will be the nominee in 2024”

FRESNO, CA (KMJ) As heard live on KMJ Thursday evening, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom faced off with presidential candidate and Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The two had been trading barbs for months over a number of issues.

Dubbed the “Red State vs. Blue State Debate” by Fox News, the two rival Governors squared off on several hot-button issues including: Illegal immigration, LGBTQ issues, COVID policies, crime, homelessness, terror threats, abortion, education, gas prices, the “California exodus” of residents, among others.

Gov. Newsom seemed to try to quash rumors of a “shadow campaign” for President by starting the debate with the salvo “Neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024”.

When asked about the presumed cognitive decline of President Biden, DeSantis responded “Yes he’s in decline and yes he’s a danger to the country”.

“I’ll take Joe Biden at 100 rather than Ron DeSantis any day of the week,” Newsom fired back. “Joe Biden will be the nominee in a matter of weeks. It’s not an option (of a possible nomination). Biden will be re-elected, Trump will be rejected” Newsom continued.

Newsom again deflected questions about a so-called shadow campaign for President asserting that he is a stand-in for the Biden-Harris ticket.

“In Florida, we showed the conservative principles work. This country must choose freedom over failure,” DeSantis said.

Here at home, the California Republican Party was quick to issue a news release immediately after the debate: “What Americans witnessed this evening was typical Gavin Newsom: a slick talking, used car salesman impersonating, presidential wannabe spewing word salads to cover up his own incompetence. He simply and predictably did not meet the moment. No matter how he wants to reimagine these issues, the facts don’t lie:  he has driven California to the top of all the wrong lists and somehow thinks those policy failures justify a promotion to the White House. I hope he has enjoyed the national spotlight while he runs his shadow presidential campaign because it’s as close as he’ll ever get to holding our nation’s top office.” — CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson

In an interview with Forbes about the debate, California republican and former Newsom recall opponent Larry Elder was dismissive of the event, “Gavin Newsom refused to debate in the recall election of 2021 when it mattered. This is a very entertaining debate I suppose, but there’s nothing at stake”.