“Real Time” host Bill Maher mocked California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent ad in Florida attacking the state and Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis in which Newsom claimed, “Freedom is under attack in your state. I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight — or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom.”
“Freedom to choose. Freedom from hate, Freedom to love. Don’t let them take your freedom,“ Maher quoted Newsom’s ad, then declared, “I guess my question is: Who’s got the freedom fight now? Because I could see the Republicans saying, ‘Well, we stand up for your right to have your guns, we don’t [do] COVID mandates, you know, you have your freedom to be free.’”
Then Maher bluntly stated, “I certainly don’t always feel free in this state, I must say, and I have felt freer in Florida.”
In March, Bill Maher defended Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, saying:
If people don’t know, this is something DeSantis is about to sign. And I guess it’s a reaction to Republicans who feel that there’s too much talk in lower grades. I think it’s only — they’re talking about kindergarten to third grade. So we’re talking about very young kids who, you know, as always with this stuff, you know this. It’s not like there’s no kernel of truth in that maybe kids that young shouldn’t be thinking about sex at all.
After news broke that Newsom would run ads in Florida, Dave Abrams, a spokesperson for DeSantis’s re-election campaign, told The Daily Wire, “Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire. Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida.”
“The people of Florida pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media,” Abrams added. “We’re too busy enjoying the freedom Governor Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State.”
James Grant, Florida’s chief information officer, tweeted, “That time when @GavinNewsom spent ‘Newsom for Governor’ dollars to run for Governor of, wait for it… Florida? All while Californians continues [sic] exercising the freedom to vote with their feet and leave California. Rich.”
That time when @GavinNewsom spent “Newsom for Governor” dollars to run for Governor of, wait for it… Florida?
All while Californians continues exercising the freedom to vote with their feet and leave California.
— James Grant (@JamesGrantFL) July 4, 2022
Jeremy Redfern, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, echoed, “Shouldn’t you be worried about California?”
Shouldn’t you be worried about California? pic.twitter.com/etzKfZ9OQs
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) July 3, 2022
The DeSantis campaign created mugs saying, “I [heart] CA but I wish my governor was Ron DeSantis.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in late June that Newsom’s re-election campaign spent over $100,000 on cable TV ads to run on Fox News in Florida starting July 4.
In 2021, more than 360,000 people left California, CNBC reported in June.