California Gov. Gavin Newsom is gloating about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ struggles in the Republican presidential campaign.
“He’s belly-flopped,” Mr. Newsom, a Democrat who has been an outspoken critic of his counterpart in Florida, kept repeating in an interview with Politico.
Mr. Newsom said Mr. DeSantis failed to gain traction in the race because he prioritized the wrong issues.
“He thought it was more important to threaten librarians by criminalizing them and ban books, ban speech, threatening teachers,” Mr. Newsom said. “He has only himself to blame that he prioritized those issues over the issues that truly matter to the American people.”
The Washington Times reached out to the DeSantis campaign for comment.
Mr. Newsom has consistently criticized Mr. DeSantis, prompting speculation that the California governor is getting ready to replace President Biden on the Democrat’s 2024 ticket or eyeing a 2028 presidential run.
For Mr. Newsom, seeing Mr. DeSantis slipping in the GOP race is an I-told-you-so moment. When Mr. DeSantis visited California in March, before launching his presidential run, Mr. Newsom warned: “You’re going to get smoked by Trump.”
The Florida governor has hit back.
In June, Mr. DeSantis shot a campaign ad in San Francisco and taunted Democrats by referring to the city as “the once great city of San Francisco.” He blamed “leftist policies” for the city’s problems with crime and homelessness.
Polls do show Mr. DeSantis badly trailing Mr. Trump. In a recent Iowa poll conducted by Emerson College, Mr. Trump had 49% of the support from Republican caucus voters while Mr. DeSantis had 14%.
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