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California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom stayed radio silent on Thursday after Florida Governor Ron Desantis accepted his debate challenge this week.
Newsom, seemingly looking to boost his national profile ahead of potentially jumping into the 2024 presidential race, challenged DeSantis in June to a debate.
“I’m all in. Count on it,” Newsom told Fox News host Sean Hannity, saying that he would agree to a three-hour debate with only “one day’s notice with no notes.”
During an appearance on the network Wednesday night, DeSantis responded to the challenge: “Absolutely, I’m game.”
“Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where we’ll do it,” DeSantis said as the audience cheered. “In one respect, the debate between California and Florida has already been had, as you suggest, people have been voting on that, they’ve been voting on it with their feet, they have fled California in record numbers.”
Yet nearly 24 hours since accepting the challenge, Newsom has remained silent. The Daily Wire reached out to his team and did not receive a response in time for publication. A source familiar with the matter indicated that Newsom had not reached out to DeSantis’ team either.
The debate between California and Florida is already over. People have been voting with their feet for years.
But the debate about the future of our country is one we need to have.
I'm game to talk about my plans to reverse the decline in this country anytime, anywhere, because… pic.twitter.com/BbUKix8s5E
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) August 3, 2023
DeSantis highlighted the contrast between the two states during the interview, including Florida having the top economy in the country, being ranked number one in education, having a 50-year-low crime rate, and being ranked number one for net in-migration.
“But in another sense, this is the debate for the future of our country because you have people like Joe Biden, they would love to see the Californication of the United States,” he continued. “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. We can’t see America decline anymore. We need to reverse.”
Newsom sent a proposal for the debate to Fox News last week that included the following:
The proposal listed three swing states as possible locations: Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina.