On Wednesday, DeSantis agreed, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “Absolutely I’m game. Just tell me when and where.”
An aide to Newsom told POLITICO that the governor was also in. Newsom’s office had sent a formal request offer to Fox News last week with proposed debate dates of Nov. 8 or Nov. 10. That request called for Hannity to serve as the sole moderator for a 90-minute forum on Fox News that would not include an in-studio audience and would air live.
“Desantis should put up or shut up. Anything else is just games,” the aide said.
A debate would — to put it mildly — be an unpredicted event in modern presidential politics even in an age of seemingly endless cable news town halls. For DeSantis, it would provide a new venue and opponent to contrast his record in Florida after spending weeks bogged down in process stories about layoffs; tightened campaign budgets, and nervous GOP donors.
Newsom, should a debate happen, would feel the weight of his political party on his shoulders under a national spotlight brighter than he’s experienced before. Like he did opposite Hannity in a recent sitdown interview, he would be forced to defend attacks about the progressive policies in his own state as well as President Joe Biden’s record.
In his letter, Newsom’s office proposed three separate debate sites: Nevada, Georgia or North Carolina.