Newsom Offers Help As Hurricane Ian Hits, Says CA Will Always Be There For Floridians And For Gov. DeSantis

Asked today if he was serious recently when he challenged Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to a debate on CNN, California Governor Gavin Newsom replied to a group of reporters, “Of course I am, but it’s a tough time to bring that up.”

He went on to shift the conversation to Hurricane Ian, which had just made landfall in Fort Myers, Florida as a Category 4 storm.

“Let me just express deep empathy and respect for the challenges the governor is facing, of course all Floridians are facing,” Newsom said. “We’ve offered support and they know that we’re there when they need it. It will be there for them. And we’re committed not just in expressing the urgency of the moment, but the aftermath in terms of the recovery; something in CA we know all too well.”

It was also a version of one of Newsom’s favorite phrases about approaching an opponent “not with a clenched fist, but with an open hand.” In fact, he used those very words later in the press conference.

It was a drastic turnaround from his near-daily criticism of DeSantis, whom Newsom has called “a bully” and about whom he told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Tuesday night: “Ron DeSantis is arresting elected officials. He’s sending SWAT teams for people in their underwear at 6 in the morning because they registered to vote and [then] voted. That’s insane. Think about it.”

Today, however, amidst the disaster of Hurricane Ian, Newsom promised, “We’re here for our fellow Americans, we’re there and will always be there for Floridians and for Gov. DeSantis.”

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