Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis may be gearing up for a 'marquee' 2024 showdown: report
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have been engaged in a war of words. Newsom, who was once married to Donald Trump, Jr.’s fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle, and DeSantis are both running for reelection in their states in the 2022 midterms. But according to Politico reporters Jeremy B. White and Gary Fineout, DeSantis’ bitter feud with Newsom is about more than 2022.
In an article published on July 6, White and Fineout toy with the idea that the 2024 presidential election may not be a battle between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, but a battle between Newsom and DeSantis.
“Forget Donald Trump versus Joe Biden,” White and Fineout write. “The biggest prelude to 2024 might just be the escalating back-and-forth between Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis. The governors for California and Florida have hurled insults about each other’s leadership and policies during most of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, Newsom has ratcheted up the conflict by taking almost daily potshots at his Republican foils such as DeSantis and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.”
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The reporters continue, “Most recently, Newsom dropped more than $100,000 on a new ad airing on Fox News that tweaked DeSantis in his home state. Fox-watching Floridians won’t likely switch their voter registration or move to California after seeing a TV spot in which Newsom warned them ‘freedom is under attack in your state.’ But the ad is producing a frenzy of national coverage that boosts Newsom’s profile while allowing DeSantis to sharpen his attacks on Democrats ahead of a possible 2024 White House bid.”
According to White and Fineout, the feud between Newsom and DeSantis “highlights how two young governors have captured the attention of their respective parties.”
“On one side is Newsom, a progressive and telegenic leader who survived an attempted recall,” the journalists observe. “On the other is DeSantis, who is often heralded as a more disciplined Donald Trump but who also has a penchant for populism and a refusal to back down from a fight.”
Biden, now 79, has said that he plans to seek reelection in 2024 if he is in good health — and on the Republican side, Trump has yet to say whether or not he will run. If Biden does seek reelection, Newsom would likely support him. And some pundits view Newsom and DeSantis as possible presidential candidates for 2028.
But Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio told Politico that the Newsom/DeSantis feud points to what could be “a marquee 2024 matchup if “all the dominoes fall in the right direction.”
Jim Ross, another Democratic consultant, told Politico, “We’ve seen it with governors in California where they get reelected, they go into their second term — and pretty quickly, they become less and less relevant because everyone else is lining up to run. There’s too many what-ifs to make this a declaration for president. I think it’s a declaration of ‘I want to create some political capital and political strength’ that you can use for other things, that you can use for whatever.’”
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