Newsom released a 30-second ad that ran on Fox News and social media on America’s birthday urging liberals in the Sunshine State to “join the fight” against the GOP agenda, or to “join us” in California.
“It’s Independence Day, so let’s talk about what’s going on in America,” Newsom says as the ad starts.
Then, as images of DeSantis and former President Donald Trump flash on the screen, he adds, “Freedom, it’s under attack in your state. Republican leaders, they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors.”
“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight. Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom – freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate, and the freedom to love,” Newsom continues. “Don’t let them take your freedom.”
The problem for Newsom are the obvious contradictions.
For one thing, in many areas of California, because of COVID-19, you’re not free to go without a mask, as many parts of the state have reimposed mask mandates. Newsom also kept schools closed longer than in most states because of COVID, not to mention the number of businesses that succumbed to his lockdown policies.
Last year, one estimate said one-third of all California restaurants would be permanently closed because of devastating lockdown policies that Newsom imposed or encouraged. A recent report showed that California has recovered just 93 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic, and the state’s economy is softening. Florida, meanwhile, now has more people working then before the pandemic struck, is on track for another record-setting year for tourism, and is booming economically.
Newsom talks about freedom of speech but says nothing about efforts to suppress speech at California’s public universities, where conservatives are routinely assaulted by leftist mobs and require armed security in order to speak. That’s true at workplaces as well. In March, the media reported how conservative employees at Disney in California were afraid to speak out about LGBTQ activism because they feared losing their jobs.
Moreover, Newsom apparently fails to see that his opposition to “restricting speech in classrooms,” a reference to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, puts him on the side of groomers who believe it is OK to impose classroom lesson plans featuring sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.
Newsom’s ad comment about “banning books” refers to the fact that Florida rejected woke math textbooks that tried to impose a liberal social agenda instead of teaching arithmetic.
As for “criminalizing women and doctors,” Newsom referred to Florida’s new law banning abortion after 15 weeks – which admittedly is unlike California’s policy to allow that up to the moment of birth, but is still more liberal than almost every nation in Europe.
On the other hand, Newsom does nothing to stop the decriminalizing of smash-and-grab looting and other violent crimes in California’s main population centers, which are also overrun by homeless camps.
But the real measure of Newsom’s effectiveness, relative to Desantis, is how people vote – with their feet.
In the middle of the pandemic, from July 2020 to July 2021, Florida added more than 211,000 new residents who moved from other states.
In that same time, more than 250,000 people fled California.
And let’s not forget that last year 38 percent of California voters wanted to recall Newsom and replace him with Larry Elder, a conservative talk-radio host, in a state where Democrats hold a nearly 2-1 advantage in registered voters.
DeSantis, meanwhile, is cruising to re-election and has amassed more than $110 million for that, the largest sum ever raised by a gubernatorial candidate in America who was not self-funded.
In response to Newsom’s ad, Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ spokeswoman and a former Californian, tweeted at Newsom, “#1 U-Haul Salesman of 2021 increasingly desperate to communicate with Californians who fled his left-lib dystopia for Florida. Sorry, you aren’t getting those U-Hauls back.”