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California Gov. Gavin Newsom took aim at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a new campaign ad, claiming “freedom is under attack” in states such as Florida that are run by Republican governors.
“Your Republican leaders, they’re banning books,” Newsom says in the ad as images of DeSantis play on the screen. The California Democrat goes on to say Republican governors are also “making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors.”
Newsom appeared to be referencing a DeSantis move to reject 41% of the state’s math books over concerns that the books used material that included themes of social-emotional learning, Common Core standards and critical race theory, which are all banned under Florida law.
“Some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students,” DeSantis said about the move earlier this year.
Newsom then calls on Floridians to “join the fight” against DeSantis, but also quips that the state’s residents are welcome to move to California.
“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight,” Newsom says, adding that Floridians could also “join us in California, where we still believe in freedom.”
“Freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love,” he continues. “Don’t let them take your freedom.”
But data compiled by the South Florida Business Journal indicates that it is actually Californians fleeing the Golden State in favor of Florida, with over 18,000 California residents moving to Florida in 2019 and over 17,000 doing the same in 2020.
DeSantis has in the past expressed concerns about California residents fleeing for Florida, pointing to the thousands of Californians that have moved to Texas in recent years that continue to vote for Democrats.
“It’s like the leftism, they will not draw the connection between their leftist ideology and the destruction that’s all around them,” DeSantis said in April. “It is a problem because I do think there’s a class of voters who would come to Florida, and they would continue to vote the same way.”