Newsom Torches Abbott and Denies Presidential Bid at Tex Press Fest

Gavin Newsom popped down to Austin, where he burned Greg Abbott on his home turf and said he’s not doing a presidential run

Governor Gavin Newsom brought his war against his favorite GOP rivals to the Lone Star State this weekend, where he took some time to publicly condemn Greg Abbott on his home turf while also throwing a few kicks at the Texas governor’s political pal and protege in the treatment of migrants, Florida machine boy Ron DeSantis.

Newsom was at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Saturday when he again went after his gubernatorial nemeses for their policies of busing and, more recently, flying migrants from their southern U.S. points of entry to northern “sanctuary” states.

“Look, it’s clear that DeSantis broke the law,” Newsom told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner during their Q&A event, referring to the Florida governor’s recent gambit of arranging to fly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard on two chartered planes. “The question is, which law did he break? Did he break the laws of his own state? Did he break federal law?”

Whether laws were or were not broken, Newsom said, DeSantis “broke with precedent, any precedent of decency and honor.” That perhaps locked-n-loaded bit of fan service was met with audience silence, but Newsom quickly forged ahead, adding, “His lack of character on display. He comes into another state, your state, to try to find pawns in a political game, rounds them up, sends them to an island and then fundraises off of it.”

In a September 15 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Newsom asked for a federal investigation into the migrant relocation schemes of Abbott and DeSantis—shortly after Abbott boasted that he had bused at least 1,600 migrants to Washington, D.C. alone since April.

“What does that say about his character?” Newsom asked Wagner, to rising applause. “And the character of the Republican party, that celebrated that act of cruelty and dehumanization?”

Although it could almost seem as if our Gavin is nursing a not-so-secret desire to run for the presidency with his many recent national wheels-within-wheels, he told Wagner nothing could be further from the truth.

“No, no, not happening, none, not at all,” Newsom said when asked if he was even considering making a run in 2024 or 2028. “And I thank you,” he told the audience. “I’m glad you’re applauding ‘No.'” Turning back to Wagner, he reiterated, “No, no and no. I’ve said it in French, Italian—I don’t know German. I mean, I cannot say it enough, but thank you.”

Newsom also warned in his weekend statements that the Democrats don’t quite understand who they are fighting, and that this misjudgment will lead to more and more national election losses unless they stop “aiming high” in a political world based on the lowest-level attacks.

“These guys are ruthless on the other side,” Newsom said, citing “propaganda machines” like Fox News, Newsmax and the “anger industry” that supports such outlets. “They dominate the most important thing in American politics today and that’s the narrative—facts become secondary to narrative. They dominate with illusion. And we are getting crushed. We are on the defense over and over again.”

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