Newsom: DeSantis saved political future by dropping out

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he thinks Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) saved his political future by dropping out of the Republican presidential primary race.

“I mean, I think if he continued on … he was gonna get trounced in his own state,” Newsom said, adding that GOP challenger Nikki Haley is currently facing similar challenges in her home state of South Carolina.

After a disappointing campaign, DeSantis dropped out of the race Sunday and endorsed former President Trump. Once seen as the most viable alternative to the former president, DeSantis never gained steam with voters and said it was clear they wanted to give Trump another chance at the White House.

Newsom and DeSantis went head-to-head in a Fox News debate in late November. They clashed over their records and policy, including how they handled the COVID-19 pandemic, crime and abortion.

Newsom said in the interview with MSNBC’s Alex Wagner on Thursday that DeSantis wasn’t polling well in his home state of Florida when they debated.

“Just on a humanizing level, you know, having spent a tiny bit of time with him, obviously studying him for some time, he’s a different guy,” Newsom said. “Now I saw him with his kid on a video, I’m like, ‘Who’s that guy?’”

Newsom, who is seen as a future White House prospect for Democrats, said it appeared that DeSantis was “wound up” during his campaign. The California governor said he didn’t think DeSantis ever had a “why” for his campaign.

Newsom continued, saying he doesn’t think Haley has a shot of winning any state when Trump is her challenger. As the only remaining candidate going against the former president, she has vowed to stay in the race, despite coming in second in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday.

According to The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Trump leads Haley in national polls by 56.8 percent.

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