In a somewhat unusual face-off, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis debated various topics in a Nov. 30 event that Fox News' Sean Hannity moderated, CBS News noted.
"The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate" took place in Alpharetta, Georgia.
The two debated various issues, including LGBTQ+ rights, abortion and gun control. Asked about Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law, which he signed earlier this year (and which may soon apply to the state's nonprofit organizations), DeSantis produced Maia Kobabe's book Gender Queer: A Memoir, saying, "This is pornography, it's cartoons, it's aimed at children, and it's wrong. So this should not be in the schools," according to The Guardian and Real Clear Politics.
Newsom responded, "I don't like the way you demean people. I don't like the way you demean the LGBTQ community. I don't like the way you demean, you humiliate people you disagree with, Ron. I find this fundamentally offensive and this is a core value that distinguishes the values of my state and frankly the vast majority of Americans against the weaponization of education and the purging he has done…"
There were also, predictably, sharp contrasts in other areas. For example, Newsom criticized DeSantis for signing a six-week abortion ban. When repeatedly asked if he would support this ban on a national level, DeSantis did not answer.
Media outlets commented on what they felt were cringeworthy moments during the debate. One such incident occurred when DeSantis unveiled a map of feces after Newsom discussed homelessness in the country by praising reform of California's behavioral health system, according to Yahoo! News.
Newsom also mocked DeSantis' 2024 campaign (saying, "You're down 41 points in your own home state [to Donald Trump]") while attacking him for transporting migrants from the border to Democratic areas such as Martha's Vineyard and California, according to Newsweek.