WATCH: Ron DeSantis Hits Bullseye in Response to Gavin Newsom’s ‘Groveling’ Before China’s Xi Jinping

As part of his continued efforts at trying to make himself relevant on a national stage (not to mention present himself as a viable alternative to Joe Biden), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has gone from trolling a series of red states to thrusting himself into the international spotlight, with recent trips to both Israel and China.

His visit to China, in particular, has gotten the most attention, with the mainstream media doing their expected oohing and aahing over how Newsom’s rubbing elbows with the CCP allegedly solidifies him as a bridge-building national leader:

But Newsom was also widely mocked during his China tour, with creative conservative minds mercilessly mocking Newsom’s clearly staged Great Wall of China “Glamour Shot” and other photo-op moments, including RedState’s own Bob Hoge:

But where Newsom especially did himself no favors was not so much in any one thing he said, but in the contrasts that were drawn by his critics, as 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis explained perfectly during a Fox News exchange where he also confirmed their Nov. 30th Fox News debate was still on.

“I saw him over there groveling with Xi Jinping and I thought to myself these are two guys who locked down their people, violated their rights, imposed medical authoritarianism, and really hurt their societies,” DeSantis said. 

“And they both had really the same playbook with respect to COVID-19.”


DeSantis had a similar message in an interview with the Daily Mail:

‘When I saw the photos, the thing that came to my mind was – you know, these are guys that are two peas in the pod with respect to COVID, draconian COVID policies,’ DeSantis told when discussing his thoughts when he found out Newsom went to China to meet with Xi.

‘They both had very lengthy lock downs, curtailed people’s ability to work, go to school, all that,’ the Florida governor added when speaking in Las Vegas, Nevada.

‘I know California because a lot of people fled to Florida because of what he did.’

DeSantis dunking on Newsom and comparing him to Xi Jinping and how they both managed the COVID pandemic in their respective state/country just confirms in my opinion that DeSantis is already loaded for bear ahead of their debate next month. 

But what his remarks also reaffirm is that COVID-19 and the federal government’s handling and mishandling of it is still rightly going to be a front-and-center issue in the GOP presidential primary campaign, and it’s one that he is understandably not willing to let go quietly into the night considering his feelings on how former President Donald Trump, the current frontrunner in the race, responded to the crisis in his last year in office – not to mention Trump’s apparent change of heart over how DeSantis handled it himself.

Back in September, DeSantis offered some of his most pointed criticisms to date of Trump’s COVID handling, noting that he “seems to be saying he would do the same thing all over again” with how he often praises the work he did in 2020. Failure to acknowledge the mistakes made, DeSantis also pointed out, meant they could and likely would be made again in another Trump administration:

“He seems to be saying he would do the same thing all over again.” 

“With me as president, if we have these set of circumstances, you’re going to have people around me like @FLSurgeonGen@DrJBhattacharya— I’m going to listen to the people that got it right. But we would NEVER repeat the mistakes of the past…” 

“I think one difference between how he and I look at things: he really likes polls. He really cares about polls. He wants to know what he’s doing is popular in the moment — and he’s obsessed with polling data. I don’t give a rip about the polls. “When I was making decisions in Florida, particularly on the front end of COVID, I was getting hammered. My public polling was going down. But at the end of the day, a leader’s got to stand up and do what’s right.”

Though DeSantis’ remarks from Friday and Saturday were obviously meant for Newsom, make no mistake about it: somewhere in there was a veiled message to Trump, letting him know that the debate on their pandemic management styles was not over – not by a long shot.

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