During a debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, Newsom asserted that DeSantis will not secure the GOP’s presidential nominee ticket for 2024.

Newsom, a Democrat, accused DeSantis of wanting to turn back the clock to a pre-1960s America, suggesting that the Republican Party aimed to undo hard-earned national rights. He pointed to voting rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights, including access to abortion and contraception, as areas of concern. 

“You want to weaponize grievance. You are focusing on false separateness. You, in particular, Ron, are on a banning binge, a cultural purge, intimidating and humiliating people you disagree with,” he asserted.

Newsom brought former President Donald Trump into the conversation, alleging that he and DeSantis were attempting to undermine democracy. In his own words, “You and President Trump are really trying to light democracy on fire.”

The California governor, who has been accused of running a shadow campaign several times, then dropped the bomb – neither he nor DeSantis would be their party’s nominee in 2024.

“So Sean, there are profound differences tonight, and I look forward to engaging them, but there’s one thing, in closing, that we have in common, is neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” he stated.

Newsom’s remarks were triggered by a criticism of his policies by DeSantis, who blamed the significant population decline in California on Newsom. DeSantis claimed that despite all the state’s natural advantages, Newsom had managed to drive people away, even causing a shortage of U-Hauls due to the mass exodus.

The Florida governor specifically pointed to Newsom’s handling of COVID-19, highlighting his decision to keep kids out of public schools while his own children attended private school. DeSantis accused Newsom of spinning tales and masking his failures with lies, attributing these failures to Newsom’s leftist ideology.

“He’s good at being slick and slippery hills, he’ll tell a blizzard of lies to be able to try to mask the failures,” DeSantis stated. “But the reality is they have failed because of his leftist ideology. And the choice for America’s this what Biden and Harris and Newsom want to do is take the California model and do that nationally. In Florida, we show that conservative principles work. This country must choose freedom over failure.”