Sparks flew on Fox News last night as Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Gavin Newsom of California clashed in a live debate moderated by Sean Hannity. Not lacking drama, the two leaders shared their visions for their states and the country as a whole. DeSantis is currently running for President in the Republican Primary, and Newsom is widely predicted to be a replacement for President Joe Biden, though the governor denies he’s running for his party’s nomination for the top of the ticket.
When the discussion turned to abortion, Newsom struggled, offering up the same answers he’s given before, denying that late term abortion is real, after dodging the question unsuccessfully for several minutes. When asked by Hannity if there were any limits he would support, Newsom said: “Later term abortion is always because of a fetal anomaly or the life of the mother. In those rare cases, I trust the mother and the doctor to make that decision…it’s extremely rare.”
But the issue is not whether the number of abortions late in pregnancy is large, but whether the Democratic Party supports them. (Hint: They do).
Consider this exchange between Hannity and Newsom:
Hannity: “Would you support on abortion between 7, 8, 9 months if the mother’s life is not in jeopardy?”
Newsom: “It’s an extreme exception.”
Hannity: “Should it be illegal then?
Newsom: “It should be up to the mother, her doctor, and her conscience.”
Hannity: “So no limits then?”
DeSantis on the other hand, provided an excellent answer when asked about the 6-week heartbeat protections law he signed in April 2023:
“I believe in a culture of life. We’re better off when everybody counts and everybody has a chance to do well. And that bill determines when there is a detectable heartbeat for the child – some states have done that, others have done later. But I think about a Floridian, Penny Hopper. She survived a late term abortion back in the day, and they left her on the table there to wither away. Her grandmother saved her, brought to her a hospital, saved her, and she lived a good life. She counts and she matters.
What the position that we have from the modern left, including California, is they will take tax dollars and fund abortion all the way until birth. The fact is that 88% of abortions past 15 weeks are elective from the Florida data… he doesn’t keep the data there. But that is really extreme to take your tax dollars and do this all the way until the moment of birth. He didn’t answer your question about any protections at all for a baby that has a beating heart or that is viable.”
READ: VICTORY: Students for Life Action Commends Final Passage of Florida Heartbeat Abortion Prevention Act, Encourages Governor DeSantis to Quickly Sign Bill to Prove Establishment Got It Wrong on Abortion
What’s funniest to consider is the verbal beating Newsom got was so bad, that his wife intervened to stop another round of debate occurring after Sean Hannity left it open for another 30 minutes, according to reporting by NBC News.
She might have been right, as the unflappable Newsom did not perform up to expectations. DeSantis arguably performed strongest of the two during the 90-minute debate, with many viral ready moments that trended on Twitter. Of note:
- DeSantis flashed a Google map printout of all the human fecal matter that’s been tracked on the streets of San Francisco. (Newsom was once mayor of that city.)
- DeSantis also brought out an example of the pornographic material that was being shown to school children until DeSantis banned it from school classrooms.
- DeSantis had the line of the night when he said: “California does have freedoms that other states don’t. You have the freedom to defecate in public. You have the freedom to pitch a tent on Sunset Boulevard. You have the freedom to create a homeless camp and even light it on fire. You have the freedom to have an open air drug market and use drugs. You have the freedom if you’re an illegal alien to get these taxpayer benefits. So those are freedoms— but they’re not freedoms our founding fathers envisioned.”
- DeSantis also noted that Newsom’s father-in-law left for Florida from California.
Newsom, meanwhile, struggled with basic facts and an inability to combat clear data points showing that California had lost 750,000 to out of state moves since 2021, and net migration into Florida exceeded 450,000 people during the same period. Or why gasoline prices are $4.85 a gallon compared to $3.17 in Florida and $3.25 nationwide.
The bottom line really is whether Americans would rather live in Florida or California … and if voting with your feet counts, most of the traffic is headed to the sunshine state.