In a fiery debate between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday night, DeSantis took a jab at Newsom’s claim that California is the “freedom state.” As the two governors sparred over their approaches to handling COVID-19 and other issues, DeSantis raised the issue of human waste plaguing the streets of San Francisco.
“Gavin Newsom, at one point tried to say that California was the freedom state,” DeSantis said during the Fox News debate. “I just kind of laugh like you’re locking people down you’re doing all this but then I thought about it, California does have freedoms.”
But the freedoms DeSantis referred to were not the ones envisioned by the founding fathers. He went on to list them, citing the “freedom to defecate in public”, “freedom to pitch a tent on Sunset Boulevard”, “freedom to create a homeless encampment under a freeway and even light it on fire”, and the “freedom to have an open air drug market and use drugs.” He also pointed out the “freedom if you’re an illegal alien to get all these taxpayer benefits.”
Governor Newsom responded with a sarcastic rebuttal, saying he “loves” DeSantis’s “rant” on freedom. But he quickly turned serious, calling out DeSantis for “criminalizing teachers, doctors, librarians and women seeking reproductive care”. He also accused DeSantis of making it harder to vote and of banning books, dismissing his claims of freedom.
DeSantis holds up a map to Newsom that people use to know where poop is on the streets of San Francisco and then points out that he cleaned it up for Xi Jinping Greg Price on Twitter / X
— Greg Price (@greg_price11 ) December 1, 2023
DeSantis then caused a stir by pulling out a map that showed where human feces have been discovered on the streets of San Francisco. The map, almost entirely colored brown, was a powerful visual representation of the dire situation in the city. DeSantis pointed out that the streets were only cleaned up when Chinese Communist dictator Xi Jinping visited, with Chinese flags being displayed instead of American flags.
“In one of the previous greatest cities this country’s ever had, human feces is now a fact of life, except when a communist dictator comes to town,” DeSantis said, highlighting the stark contrast in the city’s priorities.
It is no secret that San Francisco has been dealing with a growing homelessness crisis and the issue of human waste on the streets for years. However, the map shown by DeSantis was a shocking realization of the extent of the problem. While the city has made efforts to address the issue, the fact that it took a high-profile visit from a foreign leader to spark action is concerning.
The debate between the two governors highlighted the stark divide between their approaches to governing and the challenges they face in their respective states. DeSantis stood firm on his belief in preserving individual freedoms, while Newsom emphasized the need for government intervention to protect the well-being of all citizens. As the two continue to battle over their policies, the rest of the country will be watching to see who ultimately prevails.