Washington Examiner

DeSantis blames Newsom for ‘huge California exodus’.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Blasts Gov. Gavin Newsom for California’s “Huge Problems”

In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) didn’t hold back in criticizing Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) for the numerous challenges plaguing California. As he signed the $114.8 billion Framework for Freedom Budget, DeSantis took the opportunity to address a question about debating Newsom.

Recently, Newsom made his first appearance on Fox News in a decade, where he committed to participating in a debate with DeSantis moderated by Sean Hannity. However, DeSantis found Newsom’s “real serious fixation on the state of Florida” puzzling and dismissed the idea with a touch of humor.

“He’s got huge problems in his state — I mean, like, huge problems in his state. We all know that,” DeSantis said, eliciting laughter from the room. “I mean, California was probably the height of opportunity for middle-class Americans for many, many decades in this country. No one would leave there. You know, you would go, people were drawn to there, and yet he’s the first governor that’s overseen a massive exodus out of California.”

DeSantis referred to a study by the National Association of Realtors, which revealed that over 340,000 people moved out of California in 2022 alone. In contrast, Florida has experienced a surge in population, becoming the top state for migration in 2022 with a 1.9% increase. This marks the first time since 1957 that Florida has claimed the top spot.

According to the National Movers Study, California has seen a steady rise in residents leaving the state compared to those moving in since 2016. The trend has accelerated in recent years, particularly following the coronavirus pandemic, during which Newsom implemented strict restrictions on businesses and schools in an effort to curb the virus’s spread.

DeSantis suggested that Newsom’s confrontational stance may be driven by a shadow campaign for the presidency. DeSantis himself has already launched his own presidential campaign for 2024.

“What I would tell him is, you know, what, stop pussyfooting around. Are you going to throw your hat in the ring and challenge Joe?” DeSantis exclaimed, receiving applause from the audience. “Are you going to get in and do it, or are you just going to sit on the sidelines and chirp? So why don’t you throw your hat in the ring, and then we’ll go ahead and talk about what’s happening.”

In the race for the GOP presidential nomination, DeSantis faces formidable contenders such as former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, political commentator Larry Elder, businessman Perry Johnson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. On the Democratic side, author Marianne Williamson and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have also joined the race to challenge President Joe Biden for the party’s nomination.

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