California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s highly publicized plan to debate Ron DeSantis has reportedly angered the White House, who view it as a ‘disrespectful’ spectacle that could take attention away from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ campaign.
The reaction comes from some of the president’s key political advisers, according to four insiders – and is somewhat of a sore subject considering most Democrats say they’d prefer someone other than Biden at the top of their ticket.
Despite not viewing Newsom, 55, as a threat, the advisers have reportedly complained the planned display, set to be moderated by Sean Hannity, could make voters think Newsom is plotting his own bid for the White House.
Newsom endorsed Biden for president in April – the same day the 80-year-old announced he would be running for reelection – and has vowed he has no plans of running this election cycle.
But Biden’s camp is reportedly still worried the spectacle could help DeSantis, whom advisers had at first perceived as Biden’s main threat. Data shows that distinction has since fallen to Donald Trump, though DeSantis remains a distant second.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s highly publicized plan to debate Ron DeSantis has reportedly angered the White House, according to a new report. DeSantis, left, has now agreed to debate with California Governor Gavin Newsom, right, in a Red v. Blue clash
Several of President Biden and VP Kamala Harris’s key advisors privately expressed their frustrations over the planned spectacle, calling it ‘disrespectful’ and a potential distraction for the pair’s brewing re-election bid
However, insiders are still worried, NBC News reports – with Newsom’s plans to defend the state of his state against the firebrand governor increasingly being viewed as a nuisance.
‘It’s disrespectful,’ said one outside adviser to Harris – whose camp is reportedly particularly irked as they view the debate with DeSantis as a ploy to position himself at the top of the next primary in 2028.
‘Joe Biden is running with Kamala Harris,’ the unspecified aide said, according to NBC. ‘That’s the Democratic ticket.’
A Biden adviser, meanwhile, raged at the message the debate sends about Harris – who has been locked in a bitter war of words with the Florida politician – and the potential of a schism in 2028, when Harris is set to launch her own bid.
‘It could either look one of two ways,’ the insider said, citing recent spats such as one earlier this summer, in which Harris criticized a recent DeSantis mandate to teach young public school students about the ‘benefits’ of slavery.
‘[It could look] like he tried to defend her because she couldn’t defend herself, or that he was being thirsty for attention or to get in the fight,’ the Biden adviser said.
‘And it was at a time when the VP had completely dismissed and won the fight with DeSantis, and I think Gavin gave him a second life.’
That said, some Biden advisers see the potential gains of a governor-on-governor faceoff – which was presented in the form of a public challenge by Newsom on social media. DeSantis accepted the social media summons earlier this month.
An advisor raged at the message the debate sends about Harris – who has been locked in a bitter war of words with the Florida politician as of late – and said that it could cause a schism in 2028, when Harris is expected to launch a bid for the presidency
Others believe there is little to lose if the politically opposed pair face off, and that Newsom, believed to be one of Biden’s top campaign surrogates, could actually hurt DeSantis’s chances
Data shows that distinction has since fallen to Donald Trump, though DeSantis remains a distant second
They believe there is little to lose if the politically opposed pair face off on cable TV, and that Newsom, believed to be one of Biden’s top campaign surrogates, could actually hurt DeSantis’s chances with a good performance.
‘What he’s doing here is appropriate for a surrogate,’ said one Biden adviser who hailed Newsom for taking on DeSantis – and for recently sharing a donor list with the president’s campaign.
‘It would not be appropriate for the president or the vice president,’ the unnamed official added.
‘We’re in close touch with him [Newsom]. This is the kind of thing we want surrogates to do.’
Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign, expressed similar sentiments, suggesting that the standoff could help the president’s re-election hopes.
‘Governor Newsom is a strong partner and surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign,’ Munoz said. ‘We coordinate closely on campaigning, whether it’s fundraising or media.
‘When he brought the debate idea to us, we endorsed it.’
That said the debate comes amid a period of already unprecedented descension among Democrats, who have expressed a desire to move on from Biden as president.
It is slated to be televised on Fox News, and first surfaced as a possibility about in June during a Hannity interview with Newsom, in which the progressive confidently said he would participate in a three-hour standoff with DeSantis – who has been increasingly critical of both him and California in recent months.
Days later, after Newsom offered more choice words to his polar opposite on social media, DeSantis – who many believe is seeking to seize upon the California vs. Florida debate to kickstart his languishing campaign would accept the challenge.
‘Absolutely I’m game, let’s get it done just tell me when and where. We will do it,’ he wrote on social media.
Suggested location options by Newsom’s team include Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina – though a concrete date has yet to be set.
Newsom’s team have also asked for a coin toss to determine who will go first with their opening remarks, with the loser making their closing remarks first.
Topics set to be talked about include the many policy differences between the two governors, ranging from immigration, crime, and schooling.
Dailymail.com reported last week how liberal states like California are posting losses of over $600 million in tax revenue due to migration.
The Golden State is currently top of the list, with $343 million dollars leaving the state, while New York reported losses of $300 million.
On the other hand, conservative states Florida and Texas have been boosted collectively by $24 billion after an influx of movers.
The move away from blue states to red was turbocharged by the pandemic, when states including California and New York enacted the most draconian lockdown restrictions in the US, and continued them for far longer than conservative states.
Last year, 319,000 Americans made the move to Florida, which has low taxes, according to the National Association of Realtors
In contrast, New York state, which has a heavy tax burden, has saw an exodus of millionaires.
Meanwhile California, which has a progressive tax system that relies heavily on rich people and high personal income tax rates, has also seen an exodus of people.
The state has saw a population decline since the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated 500,00 people leaving between April 2020 and July 2022.
Tensions between the two governors grew after migrants from the Texas border were flown to Sacramento, California, with help from the state of Florida.
DeSantis argued that states like California and New York should bear the brunt of ‘open border’ policies.
In response, Newsom tweeted DeSantis saying he was a ‘small, pathetic man’ after Florida funded flights for migrants to California.
Newsom also threatened to bring kidnapping charges against his administration for the move to take the migrants to the sanctuary state.