The ad, paid for by the governor’s reelection campaign, is an early salvo in what could be a 2024 presidential showdown between Newsom and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). It follows more than 360,000 people leaving California in 2021 and moving to places such as the Sunshine State due to affordability, state regulations, and access to jobs, among other things.
“It’s Independence Day — so let’s talk about what’s going on in America,” Newsom says in the ad, which he tweeted out on Sunday. “Freedom is under attack in your state,” he adds before taking aim at Republican leaders.
“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. “Don’t let them take your freedom.”
We’re about to celebrate Independence Day — but Freedom is under attack by Republican leaders in states like Florida.
Making it harder to vote.
Criminalizing women and doctors.
It’s time to stand up. Don’t let them take your freedom. pic.twitter.com/cFI5UzgZzX
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 3, 2022
DeSantis’s campaign panned the ad as being a waste of money.
“Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire,” spokesman Dave Abrams said, according to CNN. “Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida.”
Like his California counterpart, DeSantis has set his focus on a reelection campaign, but he is often talked about as a top-tier candidate for the 2024 presidential election. Recent polling has shown DeSantis closing the gap considerably between himself and former President Donald Trump, who has flirted with another run at the White House.