Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that he would agree to debate California Governor Gavin Newsom, an event that would bring the two rivals face-to-face with Fox News’s Sean Hannity as the moderator.
“Absolutely. I’m game. Let’s get it done,” DeSantis said in an interview with Hannity on Wednesday.
In an interview with Hannity in June, Newsom said that he would debate DeSantis on the network. “I’m all in. Count on it.”
Hannity said that the debate would highlight the political and philosophical divides in the country, but DeSantis and Newsom have engaged in an increasing war of words over issues including immigration and Disney.
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No date has been set for the event. But Politico reported that Newsom’s office had sent a formal offer to Fox News with November proposed dates. The debate would air live but would not include a studio audience.
DeSantis is grappling with a campaign reset that has included the layoff of about 1/3 of his staff, while he has fallen further behind in some recent polls.
Newsom has been viewed as a potential presidential contender and a key surrogate for President Joe Biden as he runs for reelection. He generally earned high marks from Democrats for doing the sitdown interview with Hannity in June, on a network that other politicos in his party avoid.
In the interview, DeSantis said that the matchup with Newsom would be “the debate for the future of our country because you have people like Joe Biden, they love to see the Californication of the United States. Biden may not even be the nominee. You could have Gavin Newsom. You could have Kamala Harris. And I think if we go down that direction, that’s going to accelerate American decline.”
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