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August 29, 2023

Why Biden and Harris Fear a Newsom vs. DeSantis Debate

Is the California governor running a shadow campaign to usurp Biden or Harris for the Democrat nomination?

Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is working on guidelines for a debate with California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom after DeSantis accepted the challenge offered by Newsom not long ago.

A firm debate date has not been established, as the two sides are currently wrangling over rules. However, if it does end up getting the green light, it will take place sometime in the fall, likely November, and it will be moderated by Sean Hannity of Fox News.

This debate features the governors of two radically different states on polar opposite sides of the political divide. With DeSantis currently seeking the GOP presidential nomination and Newsom apparently positioning himself for the Democrat side of the ticket, it offers the American public a deserved head-to-head governing contrast. But will it happen?

Well, if the current administration has its say, the answer appears to be no.

According to a recent report from NBC News, “Biden advisers bristle at Gavin Newsom’s plan to debate DeSantis.” Moreover, the article’s teaser further notes, “Vice President Kamala Harris’ allies are particularly annoyed by the California governor’s move into the spotlight ahead of a possible 2028 Democratic nomination fight.”

With Biden fading fast — voters view him as too old to be president again, and a majority of Democrat voters desire a different candidate — talk of Biden only serving one term has only increased. Indeed, it has long been Mark Alexander’s contention that Biden will eventually exit stage left in time for Democrats to get their preferred candidate in place to challenge the Republican nominee.

After surviving his recall election last year, Newsom quickly spun the victory into a mandate for his leftist policies. He also looked to expand his appeal by attacking Republican state governors and especially DeSantis. In April, he launched his “Red State Tour” as he sought to make his case before residents of conservative states.

Give this recent history, is it any wonder that Team Biden and especially Team Harris are none too happy with Newsom? While they publicly claim their concern is that Newsom could fail in the debate and therefore elevate DeSantis, such a claim appears disingenuous.

First off, Team Biden is banking on Donald Trump, who is currently leading the GOP field by double digits, being the eventual nominee. Therefore, even if DeSantis should completely humiliate Newsom in a debate, would that really have much of a negative impact on either Biden or Harris? Realistically, the only thing it might do is make DeSantis more of a problem for Trump.

Then again, Newsom is no slouch when it comes to speaking and debating. While he doesn’t have an enviable record to back up his claims about his policies, he is quick-witted — especially when compared to Biden or Harris. Indeed, Newsom could hold his own and come out of the debate looking like the strong progressive standard-bearer Democrat voters are yearning for. Imagine the contrast between a confident, slick-talking Newsom and the dementia-addled Biden or the cackling, empty-headed Harris.

The true fear for Biden and Harris regarding a Newsom vs. DeSantis debate is that Newsom comes out looking better than the two of them. The problem for Newsom is avoiding being branded a coward if he caves to the desires of Team Biden/Harris. Harris went running when DeSantis challenged her to a debate over her false framing of Florida’s black history curriculum. Is Newsom willing to fall on his sword for Harris’s sake?

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