Sep 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Newsom challenges DeSantis to debate after migrants sent to Massachusetts

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) challenged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to a debate amid the latter's decision to send nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a wealthy enclave outside of Boston.

The big picture: It's the latest in a clash between Republican politicians, who oppose President Biden's immigration and border policies, and Democrats, who have slammed tactics to transport migrants as a political ploy.

What they're saying: “Hey [Gov. Ron DeSantis], clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom said in a tweet.

  • “Since you have only one overriding need — attention — let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.”
  • DeSantis' office did not immediately return Axios' request for comment.

Between the lines: Newsom and DeSantis are both running for re-election this year, and are also potential presidential candidates for 2024.

Go Deeper: Border Dem slams "soulless" DeSantis over Martha's Vineyard stunt

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