(The Center Square) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom launched an advertisement on Independence Day telling Florida residents their freedoms were under attack in the Sunshine State and encouraging them to move to the Golden State instead. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Newsom “might as well light a pile of cash on fire,” suggesting the ad was a waste of money.
“It’s Independence Day – so let’s talk about what’s going on in America,” Newsom said in the ad posted on Twitter. “Freedom is under attack in your state.”
“Republican leaders in your state,” he said, as DeSantis’ image comes on the screen, “they’re banning books,” Newsom continues, as a headline from Bay News 9 flashes on the screen. The headline states, “Florida bans more than 40% of math books after review.”
“Making it harder to vote,” he continues, as a headline from News Channel 8 pops up stating, “Sen. Rick Scott’s Voter Act would disenfranchise military, other voters.”
“Restricting speech in classrooms,” he says as a headline from The Palm Beach Post flashes across the screen stating: “Bans Marginalize Florida Children.”
“Even criminalizing women and doctors,” Newsom adds as another headline states, “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill banning most abortions after 15 weeks.”
“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight or join us in California,” he concludes. “Where we still believe in freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom to choose. Freedom from hate. And the freedom to love. Don’t let them take your freedom.”
In response, DeSantis spokesperson Dave Abrams told The Daily Wire, “The people of Florida pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media. We’re too busy enjoying the freedom Gov. Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State.”
“Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire,” Abrams added, referring to the ad. “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.”
Newsom for California Governor 2022 paid for the ad, the first to run in his reelection campaign, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some pundits noted that first ad didn’t attack his Republican opponent, state Sen. Brian Dahle, but another governor. There’s been speculation that both governors could potentially run for president against each other in the future.
For now, they’re both running for reelection for governor and polls show each leading their respective races. The ad began running on Fox News cable channels in Florida on Monday.
Newsom’s attack comes after more people and businesses are leaving California and after California lost more residents to migration in recorded U.S. history during Newsom’s term.
Florida continues to rival Texas as a top destination for businesses and residents exiting blue states. California’s at the top of the list of the blue state exodus; its former residents and businesses cite high taxes and expansive restrictions as their reasons for leaving.
And while California has among the highest taxes in the nation and high unemployment, Florida is known for its low taxes and has seen lower unemployment.
Florida ranks third in education outcomes according to U.S. News’ “Education Rankings,” compared to California’s 20th ranking. Its new curriculum standards have been touted as a model to follow in new national standards recently proposed by the National Association of Scholars’ Civics Alliance as California’s curriculum standards emphasizing race have been put on hold after widespread pushback from parents and concerned citizens.
Florida also ranks second best for businesses by Chief Executive Magazine compared to California’s last place ranking. Florida ranks second-freest state according to a Cato Institute ranking compared to California’s ranking of 48.