SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for reelection in California, but his latest television ad is airing in Florida.
The 30-second spot that started to air on Fox News on Monday takes shots at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his policies, while drawing a contrast with California.
“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,” Newsom says while images of DeSantis and former President Donald Trump flash on screen.
“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 says.
CNN reported the Fox News spot cost Newsom $105,000.
Newsom has said he has no interest in running for president, but the ad is sure to stoke speculation that the 54-year-old Democrat is eyeing national office. DeSantis is a potential 2024 GOP candidate for the White House, but he too has dodged any questions about running for the highest office.
Newsom handily beat back a recall attempt last year and is expected to cruise to reelection in November.
A DeSantis spokeswoman responded to the ad on Twitter but did not respond to a comment request from News4JAX.
“#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,” spokeswoman Christina Pushaw tweeted.
DeSantis, who uses the phrase “Keep Florida Free” on his campaign website, has been critical of the policies pushed by Newsom and California Democrats, especially the state’s lockdown response during the pandemic.