DeSantis Spokesman: Newsom's Florida Ad Blitz 'Pathetic' California Gov. Gavin Newsom (David Livingston/Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Monday, 04 July 2022 02:39 PM EDT
A member of Team DeSantis isn't amused with California Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent ad buys in the state of Florida, encouraging residents of the Sunshine State to move westward.
On Monday, Dave Abrams, a spokesman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, characterized Newsom's media blitz as "pathetic" and implied that most Florida residents would have little interest in moving to California — which has the highest income tax rate of any state (13.3% in 2021), the most expensive pricing for regular gasoline ($6.22 per gallon, via GasBuddy.com), and a bottom-five ranking in cost of living.
"The people of Florida pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media," Abrams told the Daily Wire. "We're too busy enjoying the freedom Gov. Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State."
Abrams also wanted to set the record straight on one of Newsom's ad claims, specifically freedom being "under attack" in Florida.
"Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire," Abrams said. "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."
It's worth noting: During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-21, Florida was among the first states to open businesses back up full time, with minimal health-related restrictions.
Also, Florida was among the first wave of states to return to normalcy with children in schools.
Abrams' comment comes one week after Governor DeSantis chided Newsom for California losing nearly 262,000 residents from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021, citing data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
"There is cause for concern," DeSantis said last week, according to The Recount.
"Texas would have all these companies moved from California over the years. So you'd have companies move from San Francisco to Austin, and they'd bring hundreds of employees with them. And those employees would vote the exact same way they voted that turned San Francisco into the dumpster fire that it is."
There might be a secondary motive to Newsom's ad blitz in Florida: He could be positioning himself for a presidential run in 2024. If Newsom was to garner the Democratic National Committee's nomination, his Republican counterpart might be a current Florida resident — either Governor DeSantis or former President Donald Trump.
"Everybody is trying to be relevant for the next race," Cedric Richmond, a former senior Biden White House official, who recently transitioned to a top role in the DNC, recently told Politico.
"[Newsom] came through the recall election, and he's doing a pretty good job as governor. However, I think ambition makes people do different things," added Richmond.
According to OddsShark.com, a betting site for sports and politics, Governor Newsom currently doesn't rank among the nine strongest favorites to secure the DNC's presidential nomination for 2024.
President Joe Biden tops the list (+200), followed by Vice President Kamala Harris (+330).
After that, there's a drop-off with the next wave of challengers: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttgieg (+900), 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (+900), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (+1600), former First Lady Michelle Obama (+2200), Beto O'Rourke (+2500), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (+3300), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. (+3300).