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‘Epic Contrast Between Freedom Vs Statism’: Commentators Weigh In On DeSantis, Newsom Debate

  Florida Governor   Ron DeSantis   received strong praise online from many prominent conservative commentators following his debate perform...

 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received strong praise online from many prominent conservative commentators following his debate performance against California Governor Gavin Newsom.

The Thursday night debate in Georgia on Fox News was supposed to be about which state America should be like, California or Florida. Instead, the event turned quickly turned into DeSantis repeatedly going for the jugular on policy issues while Newsom largely was forced to resort to not answering questions, sidestepping attacks, and trying to portray DeSantis as a “bully.” Newsom was also called out several times throughout the debate and online by right-leaning commentators for making various false claims.

Not much data is yet available on viewer response, but an online instant reaction poll on Drudge Report gave DeSantis the clear victory, the Florida governor getting an overwhelming 67-33% win over his California counterpart. While many left-leaning commentators and DeSantis critics on the right credited Newsom on style, many conservatives gave DeSantis an overwhelming win on substance.

The lone Newsom line that the political Left and some Trump supporters repeatedly touted was his claim that neither he nor DeSantis would be their party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

Those who praised DeSantis often cited his command of the facts, particularly about the results of California’s progressive policies, while several moments from the Florida governor were widely circulated online, including when he highlighted a map that plots human feces on the streets of San Francisco and condemned California’s “transgender sanctuary” laws.

Conservative radio giant Mark Levin tweeted: “DeSantis went up against the Democrat Party star and whipped him. It’s just that simple.”

Radio host Clay Travis said, “I was 100% wrong on this debate. I thought Gavin Newsom would be likable and intelligent. I was incorrect. This is a massacre. If this were a boxing match, Newsom’s corner would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. Complete and total win for DeSantis from open to close.”

“It’s a blessing for DeSantis that California doesn’t enforce criminal laws anymore,” said actor James Woods. “Because he murdered Newsom tonight.”

“Ron DeSantis cleaned the floor with Gavin Newsom tonight,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). “Well done, @RonDeSantis!”

Media columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha said that “this was the knockout of any chance Gavin Newsom had at national office.”

“Simple reason: It is impossible to escape or defend the state of California under his leadership,” he said. “Highest taxes in the country. Highest poverty rate in the country. Highest homeless rate in the country. Highest exodus rate in the country. If given the choice between the country being Florida or California, it’s not even remotely close, even for many Democrats. Newsom’s charisma or looks can’t defend the facts on the ground. Plain and simple.”

Other notable tweets included:

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