Fox News announced on Monday that it will host a debate between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom in late November. The debate, called “a red vs. blue state debate,” will be moderated by Sean Hannity and will take place in Georgia. The event will air on Hannity’s prime-time program on November 30. While it is unclear whether the debate will be broadcast live or include an audience, Newsom had requested that there be no audience. Newsom’s spokesperson highlighted that they want a real debate, not a circus, and agreed to the debate on the condition that there are no cheering sections or hype videos.
DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, sees the debate as an opportunity to showcase his vision of Florida’s success and contrast it with Democratic policies in California and other states. He hopes to woo national voters and position himself as a viable candidate, although he lags behind former President Donald Trump in the polls. DeSantis emphasized the importance of the debate for the future of the country, as he believes the left wants to double down on California policies. Newsom, on the other hand, has been calling for a debate with DeSantis for months and sees it as a chance to challenge Republican policies on issues such as immigration, abortion, gun rights, and education.
Both governors have taken public jabs at each other, using their respective states’ policies to criticize the other’s party’s politics. Newsom has emerged as a Democratic leader willing to take on high-stakes issues and has traveled beyond California to engage with Republican-controlled states. While Newsom is not running for president, his political presence extends beyond California and often generates speculation about a potential White House run in the future.