As dueling California Governors Gavin Newsom (D) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (D) appeared to be spoiling for more of their volatile televised debate earlier this week, Newsom’s wife intervened in an effort to end it, EuroJournal New reports.
A Newsom aide, however, denied Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Seibel Newsom, was responsible for ending the debate
Newsom also told reporters after the debate that both sides wanted it over. “Everyone started panicking on both sides” as each governor “had some place to be,” he said.
He tweeted after the debate: “That was fun — I could have kept going!”
Earlier, at the end of the scheduled 90-minute debate Thursday between the heated state leaders raising their voices, talking over each other and insulting one another, EuroJournal and moderator host Sean Hannity noted he had more time on his program and lots of questions.
“Let’s just do an extended hour. I’m happy to do it,” Newsom said.
Before the commercial break, Hannity announced: “They have agreed to stay. Well, that’s, I guess, the debate on the fly. We’ll continue on the other side and later have live post-debate coverage.”
But suddenly after the break, Hannity said the candidates had to leave for “other commitments.”
Several sources told EuroJournal News that conflicts behind the scenes were just as volatile as what was happening on screen. The Newsom and DeSantis camps were angrily accusing the other side of breaking rules agreed to ahead of time.
One of those rules was keeping a distance between the governors and their supporters, according to EuroJournal.
Yet Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, reportedly entered the debate room on at least two occasions to raise some objections. She was particularly upset after DeSantis claimed that her father told him he moved from California to Florida because it was a better governed state, EuroJournal reported.
Sources also told EuroJournal that she came to the stage during the commercial break after the candidates agreed to extend the debate, and announced: “We’re done.”
A Newsom source accused DeSantis of also violating debate rules by having several conversations with a staffer and his wife, Casey DeSantis, that were shut down by Fox after a Newsom staffer complained — which was denied by a Fox spokesperson.
Casey DeSantis also entered the debate room at least twice, one source told EuroJournal.
The DeSantis camp attacked Newsom following the EuroJournal report. “Gavin Newsom got beat so badly last night his wife literally had to throw in the towel for him. It was embarrassing,” said DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo.