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Newsom Refuses To Respond To DeSantis Jab About California Exodus

Anastasia Boushee
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During Thursday night’s debate moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity between California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is also running for president, DeSantis called out Newsom for his failed policies that have caused a mass exodus from California, with Newsom refusing to address the issue.

California’s net migration showed that the state’s population decreased by nearly 700,000, according to U.S. Census data from April 2020 to July 2022. From the staggeringly high income tax rate of 13.3% to the skyrocketing homelessness and crime problems, California has become inhospitable for its citizens. Much of the exodus has also been attributed to California’s authoritarian COVID policies.

During the debate, DeSantis pointed out that California’s mass exodus came despite the state’s “natural advantages” — likely referring to the natural beauty of the state and the nice weather.

“California has more natural advantages than any state in the country,” DeSantis said. “You almost have to try to mess California up. And yet that’s what Gavin Newsom has done since he’s been governor. He’s the first governor to ever lose population. They actually at one point, ran out of U-Hauls in the state of California because so many people were leaving.”

The Florida governor went on to point out many of Newsom’s authoritarian policies that have led to the exodus, including his COVID restrictions, such as keeping children out of school while his own children continued to attend private school.

“He’s very good at spinning these tales,” DeSantis added. “He’s good at being slick and slippery hills, he’ll tell a blizzard of lies to be able to try to mask the failures. But the reality is they have failed because of his leftist ideology.”

Instead of addressing any of these points, Newsom pivoted, claiming that he was at the debate to defend President Joe Biden, which was never discussed as a reason for the debate being held.


The California governor repeatedly refused to answer the question, while DeSantis and Hannity repeatedly called him out for it.

Even when Hannity pressed Newsom about why so many people have been fleeing California, he continued to refuse to answer, instead attacking DeSantis’ presidential campaign and pointing out that he has no chance of being the Republican nominee.

Newsom consistently tried to talk over DeSantis, including when the Florida governor pointed out that members of Newsom’s own family had fled California for Florida.