The Fox News debate between Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom and Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis featured several intense moments as the two leaders clashed on issues such as abortion, crime, taxes, and COVID-19. Here are five standout moments from the debate:
- DeSantis Confronts Newsom with Sexually-Explicit Children’s Book: In a discussion about Florida’s laws restricting certain sexually-explicit books in schools, DeSantis defended the ban by presenting images from one of the prohibited books to Newsom. DeSantis argued that the book, titled ‘Genderqueer,’ contained inappropriate content for children, while Newsom accused him of leading a “cultural purge” of books.
- ‘Freedom to Defecate in Public’: DeSantis criticized Newsom’s claim that California, not Florida, is the “freedom state,” highlighting freedoms like the “freedom to defecate in public” in California. Newsom responded, defending California’s freedoms and accusing DeSantis of criminalizing various groups.
- ‘Shame on You!’: Newsom Corrects DeSantis on Pronunciation of ‘Kamala Harris’: During a discussion on school closures, Newsom forcefully corrected DeSantis’s pronunciation of Vice President Kamala Harris’s name. Newsom scolded DeSantis and emphasized the correct pronunciation.
- DeSantis Blasts Soros-Funded California Prosecutor: DeSantis criticized Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, funded by liberal financier George Soros, for his handling of crime. DeSantis argued that California’s rising crime rate was causing residents to leave the state, while Newsom defended his record.
- Governors Spar Over Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic: The debate included a heated exchange on the governors’ approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom accused DeSantis of being a “lock-down governor” and blamed him for a higher death rate in Florida. DeSantis countered by accusing Newsom of damaging the economy and education with prolonged lockdowns.
These moments highlighted the sharp disagreements between the two governors on a range of critical issues.