Ron DeSantis destroyed by Gavin Newsom in debate: ‘You demean and humiliate’

Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis and California Democrat governor Gavin Newsom went head-to-head in a public debate where Newsom blasted the Florida governor over his anti-LGBTQ+ laws

On Thursday (30 November) the debate – dubbed The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate by Fox News – saw the pair spar with each other and called each other a “bully” whilst arguing over tax, immigration, crime and LGBTQ+ policies. 

DeSantis said California had “failed” because of Newsom’s “leftist ideology” whilst in “Florida we show conservative principles work”. Newsom, however, accused the GOP contender as trying to “bring us back to the pre-1960s or older, America in reverse”.  

“You want to roll back hard-earned national rights on voting rights and civil rights, human rights and women’s rights, not just access to abortion, but also access to contraception,” Newsom added. 

Unlike DeSantis, Newsom is not seeking his party’s nomination next year. DeSantis, meanwhile, is trailing pitifully behind former president Donald Trump in both national and state level polls – including in Florida – something Newsom could not help but take a pop at. 

In his opening statement, the governor noted there would be “profound differences” during the debate, which he looked “forward to engaging”. “But,” he added, “there’s one thing in closing that we have in common … neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.”

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Unsurprisingly, DeSantis’ controversial Don’t Say Gay law was discussed alongside Florida’s numerous book bans, with DeSantis holding up a copy of the banned Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe at one point. 

Newsom blasted DeSantis for using “education as a sword for your cultural purge”. 

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“I don’t like the way you demean people,” he went on to say, “I don’t like the way you demean the LGBTQ community

“I don’t like the way you demean and humiliate people you disagree with, Ron. 

“I really find this fundamentally offensive, and this is a core value that distinguishes the values of my state and, frankly, the vast majority of Americans against the weaponization of education.”

At another point during the debate, DeSantis pulled out another visual aid to discredit Newsom’s record on sanitation: a map allegedly showing instances of human faeces on the streets of San Francisco. 

The bizarre stunt saw him say: “This is a map of San Francisco. There’s a lot of plots on that. You may be asking: ‘What is that plotting?’

“Well, this is an app where they plot the human faeces that are found on the streets of San Francisco, and you see how almost the whole thing is covered?

“Because that is what has happened, in one of the previous greatest cities this country has ever had. Human faeces is now a fact of life.”

Newsom also blasted DeSantis’ abortion bills, which he described as the most “extreme” in America. 

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“So extreme is your ban that it criminalises women and criminalises doctors, that even Donald Trump said it was too extreme.” 

DeSantis responded that he believes “in a culture of life”.

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