Ron DeSantis Edges Closer to Trump in GOP Race, Newsom Responds

Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida and potential GOP candidate in the 2024 presidential race, recently visited the Ronald Reagan Library in California in order to address the audience of over 1,300 people. During his remarks, he joked about the state’s current governor, Gavin Newsom, saying: “I know you’ve got a lot of problems out here, but your governor is very concerned about what we are doing in Florida, so I figured I had to come by.”[0]

DeSantis’ comments come in the wake of polls which show him edging closer to former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary race. The Fox News poll shows Trump ahead 43% to 28%, while one conducted by WPA Intelligence had DeSantis on top 40% to 31%.[1] According to a poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire, DeSantis has an advantage of 42% to 30%.[1]

Newsom responded to DeSantis’ visit by welcoming him to what he called the “real freedom state,” where residents “are safer, healthier and more prosperous than those unfortunate enough to have you as their governor,” adding “you’re going to get smoked by Trump.”[2]

The Governor of Florida has recently published his first memoir, “The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for American Revival,” which outlines his vision for the nation’s revival. He attributes the population boom in Florida to better governance, while slamming the “left-wing states” for their poor governance.[3] He also brands the “national legacy press” as the “pretorian guard of the nation’s failed ruling class” and seconds Trump’s claim that the “fake news media” is the “enemy of the American People”.[4]

DeSantis won reelection last November in a landslide, defeating Democrat Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points, the biggest margin of victory in the state’s governor’s race since 1982.[5] He has since declared that “Before my time at Yale, I had never seen a limousine, much less a limousine liberal. Those students who were the most strident in their leftism… came from the most privileged background,” adding that his experience at the Ivy League school pushed him far to the right.[6]

Newsom, on the other hand, has relished the chance to debate, stating that “California residents are safer, healthier and more prosperous than those unfortunate enough to have you as their governor.[7]

0. “DeSantis slams Newsom in California speech where he promotes his ‘anti-woke’ agenda” Daily Mail, 5 Mar. 2023,

1. “DeSantis touts Florida’s success in Villages stop” The Villages Daily Sun, 1 Mar. 2023,

2. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives speech in California 1 year out from state GOP primary” Axios, 6 Mar. 2023,

3. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touts conservative governance in California” UPI News, 6 Mar. 2023,

4. “DeSantis’ ‘Courage to be Free’ memoir missing key details from his life” Business Insider, 28 Feb. 2023,

5. “Who is Gov. Ron DeSantis? Floridian, 2024 presidential candidate?” Tallahassee Democrat, 28 Feb. 2023,

6. “Opinion: Ron DeSantis’ new book offers a powerful warning to the US electorate” CNN, 1 Mar. 2023,

7. “DeSantis cannonballs into America’s deep blue states for war on ‘woke’ ahead of 2024” The Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2023,

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