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Gavin Newsom Escalates Criticism of GOP Governors

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Republican governors are “doubling down on stupid” in their treatment of immigrants.

Newsom made his comments on Tuesday while speaking at a climate meeting in New York, according to CBS8 in Sacramento. This was just days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made headlines by flying migrants to the wealthy vacation hotspot of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. 

“Those conservative governors out there, Greg Abbott and others, they’re as dumb as they want to be and they’re just doubling down on stupid, and we will not follow their path,” he said at the Clinton Global Initiative Meeting.

Newsom’s comments came after a Twitter exchange with DeSantis where DeSantis asserted that Newsom’s hair products might be inhibiting his ability to think straight. Newsom responded, tagging DeSantis and replying to a tweet by longtime journalist Dan Rather who proposed a primetime debate between the opposing coast’s governors.

“Hey [Ron DeSantis], clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom tweeted. “Since you have only one overriding need – attention – let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.” 

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However, Newsom insists his tiffs with Republican governors have nothing to do with any future political aspirations, but some local experts say it’s time for Newsom to focus more on his home state.

“For Newsom to make the case that he should be seen as a national progressive leader, he really needs to show more progress in California on issues like homelessness, energy costs, transportation,” political analyst and UC Berkeley Professor Omar Wasow told CBS 8. “California remains the number one state for poverty.”

The California governor said in a recent campaign email that he’s doing all this not because he’s running for higher office but to be able to live with himself: “I gotta sleep at night, and that means confronting people like [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott and DeSantis,” Newsom wrote. 

However, according to CBS 8, pollster Pollster Adam Probolsky said it was his belief that, “Voters are not voting in 2022 general election, are not motivated significantly more than they normally would be, to vote based upon abortion or to be vote based on climate change,” saying that Newsom appears to be focusing on “building blocks” of a campaign.

“I think the governor probably thinks he’s solid for November, and he wants to start making a name for himself outside of California,” he said. 

Newsom also recently launched a billboard campaign in Republican states advertising California’s abortion access.

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