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DeSantis Reacts to Newsom's Targeting of Florida: 'California is Driving People Away With Terrible Governance'

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

During a Friday press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) reacted for the first time to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) targeting the state of Florida by releasing ads there claiming that freedom is "under attack" there.


"When families are uprooting from the Pacific coast to go almost 3,000 miles in search of a better life, that's telling you something. Yes, we've created a citadel of freedom that's attracted people, and we're proud of it. But let's just be clear," DeSantis said, emphasizing "California is driving people away with their terrible governance."

DeSantis also acknowledged California's beauty, including how there's "some of the best weather in the world in Southern California" and how "they have some of the best natural advantages, probably the best natural advantages of any state." This served to highlight that much more how extreme the policies in California are, as DeSantis also accurately pointed out that for the first time in its history, the state is losing population, which he pointed out coincides with Newsom being in office, "and now they're hemorrhaging population." 

To laughter and applause, DeSantis said "it's almost hard to drive people out of a place like California, given all their natural advantages, and yet they're finding a way to do it."

While California is losing population, and thus lost a congressional seat for the first time, the population is growing in Florida. The Sunshine State gained 211,000 people between July 2020 and July 2021, second only to Texas. The bright blue Democratic states of California, Illinois, and New York, saw the sharpest decreases in population, according to census data. 


Newsom made news earlier this week not week not only for the ridiculous ads, which also contain falsehoods, but for traveling to Montana to visit his in-laws, despite how California banned state-funded travel there due to its LGBT policies. 

While the state is not paying for Newsom's travel there, it is paying for his security, per an exception in the law. Newsom's staff have been slow and loathe to provide details when asked by CalMatters' Emily Hoeven, though, who has been reporting on Newsom's whereabouts. 

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