Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have traded political blows on multiple occasions in recent years, but now Newsom is accusing the 2024 Republican presidential candidate of a serious crime.
In response to an incident involving 16 undocumented immigrants who were bussed from Texas to New Mexico and then flown to California’s capital city, Newsom claimed that DeSantis was guilty of “kidnapping” despite the fact that the migrants apparently spent no time in Florida.
Calling the Florida governor a “small, pathetic man” in a tweet on the matter, Newsom went on to rhetorically ask whether criminal charges should be filed against DeSantis.
.@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man.
This isn't Martha's Vineyard.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 5, 2023
Rob Bonta, California’s attorney general, also joined in on the accusations, insisting on Saturday that Florida had orchestrated the migrants’ route from the Lone Star State to the Golden State.
Of course, this is not the first time DeSantis has faced backlash from Democrats over his immigration policies. Along with Republican governors of other border states, he ordered that some of the undocumented immigrants who swarmed into his state be rerouted to so-called “sanctuary” districts elsewhere in the United States.
Most notably, DeSantis loaded a plane with migrants who were sent to the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. While he attracted criticism from the left for the move, it is worth noting that local officials in Martha’s Vineyard similarly relocated the migrants to an area off the island.
Newsom was among the Democratic officials who slammed DeSantis at the time of the migrant relocation effort last year, but the Florida governor defended his actions.
“These were homeless people that were in a rough situation and undoubtedly had their circumstance improved,” a DeSantis administration source asserted. “In fact, several have already communicated their thanks for the opportunity to go to the sanctuary state.”
DeSantis himself maintained that all of the migrants who were flown to Martha’s Vineyard “voluntarily” signed up for the trip. As for Newsom’s critique, he said at the time that the Democratic governor’s “hair gel is interfering with his brain function.”
Newsom also opened himself up to accusations of hypocrisy in light of his 2006 policy — as mayor of San Francisco — to bus homeless individuals out of the city.