California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s team slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis debate counterproposal on Saturday, calling it a “joke” and saying he is trying to “hide his insecurity and ineptitude.”
“What a joke,” Newsom spokesperson Nathan Click said in a statement, according to Politico. “Desantis’ counterproposal is littered with crutches to hide his insecurity and ineptitude — swapping opening statements with a hype video, cutting down the time he needs to be on stage, adding cheat notes and a cheering section.”
“Ron should be able to stand on his own two feet,” he added. “It’s no wonder Trump is kicking his ass.”
Newsom has challenged DeSantis to a policy debate several times in the past. In July, the California governor sent a formal debate offer letter to Fox News host Sean Hannity outlining rules for the event, such as having Hannity as the moderator, run for 90 minutes and no notes or live audience. Newsom proposed that the debate be broadcast live on Fox News instead.
DeSantis, a candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2024, accepted the debate challenge Wednesday and sent in his proposed rules on Friday which included a prerecorded 2-minute-long opening video “to make the case for their governing philosophy” instead of each candidate delivering opening remarks and a live audience split 50-50, instead of an empty room.
However, there are some similarities, according to Politico. Both camps agreed that the debate will be moderated by Hannity and last for 90 minutes with time split equally between DeSantis and Newsom. Both camps also proposed the debate be held in Georgia on Nov. 8.