In a recent high-profile debate on Fox News, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced off in a heated exchange that ended abruptly, reportedly due to the intervention of Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
The debate, moderated by Sean Hannity, initially ran for 90 minutes, after which Hannity suggested extending the discussion. Both Newsom and DeSantis appeared amenable to continuing. However, during a break, the tone behind the scenes shifted dramatically.
Sources close to the DeSantis campaign and an independent source reported to NBC News that Jennifer Siebel Newsom entered the backstage area and decisively called an end to the debate, stating, “We’re done.”
This unexpected conclusion to the debate stirred controversy, with accusations emerging from both camps. The Newsom team, through advisor Sean Clegg, expressed discontent, claiming the debate was unfairly conducted. Social media reactions seemed to favor DeSantis, further fueling tensions.
POLITICO, citing sources including one from the DeSantis campaign, reported that the abrupt end to the debate was directly influenced by Newsom’s wife. DeSantis spokesperson Andrew Romeo commented on the situation, suggesting that Newsom was outperformed in the debate.
Adding to the controversy, Newsom’s team raised allegations of bias, claiming without substantiation that DeSantis had access to a teleprompter previewing the debate questions—a claim Fox News denied. Furthermore, the use of visual aids by DeSantis, including printed images to underscore points about California’s educational content and sanitation issues in San Francisco, was a point of contention. Fox News clarified that there were no restrictions on using props during the debate.
The debate’s abrupt end and the ensuing fallout highlighted the intense rivalry between the two high-profile governors, reflecting deeper political divisions on the national stage.