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California Gov. Gavin Newsom challenges Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to debate

CBS News Live
CBS News Sacramento Live

SACRAMENTO - California Governor Newsom has challenged Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to a pre-election debate. 

On Friday, Newsom tweeted the challenge to DeSantis and referenced the Republican governor sending two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard this week. 

"Hey @GovRonDeSantis, clearly you're struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people's lives. Since you have only one overriding need -- attention --let's take this up & debate. I'll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day. @CNN"

DeSantis's move, which is seen largely as a publicity stunt, escalated a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration's failed border policies.  

On Thursday, Newsom called for an investigation into Republican governors sending busloads of migrants to Democratic states to protest the Biden administration's immigration policies. In a tweet Thursday, Newsom specifically called out DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott over their "cruel" policy of busing migrants out of their states to cities with Democratic mayors as part of a political strategy.  

Newsom's tweet also referenced a tweet from former CBS News anchor Dan Rather who tweeted on August 26 that CNN would reap big ratings by holding the debate:

Here's an idea for Chris Licht, the new head of @CNN. Set up a debate — one-on-one — between @GavinNewsom and @RonDeSantisFL. Two governors of big states, potential presidential candidates. Prime time. Ratings I bet would be huge. Who would have the courage to show up?  

The question now is will DeSantis -- and CNN -- take up the challenge?

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