(LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom are officially set to face off in a debate on Fox News in November.
DeSantis and Newsom are scheduled to meet in Georgia and spar during a 90-minute televised debate to be broadcast during Sean Hannity’s 9 p.m. time slot on November 30, The Hill reported.
Hannity, who will moderate the “red state vs. blue state” debate, said in a statement that he’s “looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American.”
Representing opposite sides of the country and opposite political perspectives, Newsom and DeSantis will present their divergent visions to the millions of nightly viewers who regularly tune in to Hannity’s show.
The agreement to debate comes after DeSantis previously said on Hannity’s show in August that he was “game” to go toe to toe with Newsom after the California governor challenged DeSantis.
DeSantis later said in a social media post that the “debate about the future of our country is one we need to have,” even though “[p]eople have been voting with their feet for years” by moving from California to Florida and other conservative states like Texas.
As LifeSiteNews has noted, the two governors have frequently taken opposite positions on a number of high-profile cultural issues.
While Newsom has defended the use of pornographic books in schools, for example, DeSantis has sought to curb the availability of explicit and inappropriate content in classrooms and school libraries. Newsom has openly advertised his state as a haven for abortion, while DeSantis opposes taxpayer funding of abortion and signed a bill to prohibit abortion once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
The pair have also clashed over immigration policy, with Newsom accusing DeSantis of “kidnapping” for sending illegal immigrants to California, which has enacted laws to make itself a “sanctuary state.”
The governors also implemented vastly opposite strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Newsom kept his state under tight lockdown and pushed for vaccine mandates, DeSantis rolled back his statewide lockdown early in the pandemic and fought private and public vaccine mandates.
But while the governors represent opposite political visions and currently serve at the same level of state government, their debate will be unique in that only one of the two men has publicly affirmed his intention to run for the presidency.
DeSantis announced his candidacy in May, but Newsom has steadfastly denied that he has presidential ambitions for the 2024 race.
“It’s not common that politicians who aren’t running against one another would attempt to do such a public face-off,” Vox observed. “Although DeSantis is vying for the 2024 Republican nomination, Newsom has already expressed his support for President Joe Biden and said he won’t be running this cycle.”
But Newsom’s agreement to debate DeSantis has rekindled rumors that he could actually have an eye on the White House as U.S. President Joe Biden’s poll numbers in a Biden-Trump match-up dip and corruption allegations mount.
“Newsom to debate DeSantis on Fox,” said Citizen Free Press on X, formerly Twitter. “Not suspicious at all.”
The conservative outlet laid out a list of recent indications that Newsom could be waiting in the wings for Biden to back out of the upcoming election, noting that “Newsom is running a shadow campaign … Newsom says he’d do Covid ‘different’ … Newsom strikes down radical gender law” and “[e]very poll in America shows Biden losing.”
Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh similarly argued in a Monday podcast episode that Newsom’s recent decision to veto a highly controversial bill, AB 957 (which critics warned could allow the state to remove children from homes where their gender confusion is not affirmed), indicates that the California governor is distancing himself from radical and unpopular initiatives in an effort to make himself a more appealing presidential candidate.
“There’s no reason that he vetoes that bill unless he’s running for president,” Walsh said. “He might as well have officially announced his presidential run.”