Ron DeSantis Accepts Gavin Newsom’s Debate Challenge After Nearly a Year (Video)

Assuming it actually happens, set your clocks for November

Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis (Credit: Getty Images)

It took almost a year, but it seems Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will spar with his California counterpart after all. On Wednesday, during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, DeSantis said he accepts the debate challenge first laid down last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“You heard Gavin make the offer,” Hannity said while interviewing DeSantis via remote feed. “Your answer is?”

“Absolutely, I’m game. Let’s get it done,” DeSantis said with a wide, white-toothed smile. “Just tell me when and where. We’ll do it.”

In a statement released after DeSantis accepted, Newsom’s office said, “Gov. Newsom has been challenging DeSantis to debate for months and sent him a formal debate offer last week. Nov. 8 or 10. DeSantis should put up or shut up. Anything else is just games.”

In 2022, Newsom began a campaign of trolling the Florida governor over his anti-LGBTQ policies, attacks on migrants, the censorship campaign DeSantis has championed for the last several years and, of course, the state’s limitations on abortion. (Remember the ad Newsom produced urging freedom-loving Floridians to move to California?)

Amid that, Newsom first made the challenge on Twitter in September, asking for a debate to happen on “a time before election day.” Newsom even offered to let Hannity moderate it.

Of course when Newsom first started poking at DeSantis, the Florida governor was still talked about as a likely frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination. That is most decidedly not the case now. His campaign has stumbled from the start, with a launch met with widespread mockery, rumors that even his own staff can’t stand him and the reveal that multiple people on his campaign were involved in creating white supremacist content, among other things.

Now beset by crashing poll numbers and the overwhelming domination of the GOP primary by thrice-indicted former President Donald Trump, the campaign is reportedly seeking a hard reboot.

Perhaps debating someone who is not running for president at all in 2024 is it.