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Ron DeSantis agrees to debate Gavin Newsom

Newsom, the Democratic governor of California, recently challenged DeSantis, the governor of Florida and GOP presidential candidate, to a "Red v. Blue debate."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom.AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday that he would be willing to debate Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom live on air.

“Absolutely. I’m game. Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where. We’ll do it," DeSantis told Hannity.

The idea came about in June, when Hannity interviewed Newsom and asked if he would be willing to debate DeSantis.

"I’m all in. Count on it," Newsom said at the time.

“You would do a two-hour debate with Ron DeSantis?" Hannity asked.

“Make it three," Newsom said.

On Wednesday, Hannity framed it as a "policy-based debate" between the leader of a red state and the leader of a blue state.

"I floated the idea of a policy-based debate, you know, red vs. blue, red state vs. blue state, between Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis," he said, moments before DeSantis joined.

No date has yet been set for the debate, but a spokesman for Newsom said he's proposed Nov. 8 or Nov. 10 for the event.

"Governor Newsom has been challenging DeSantis to debate for months and sent him a formal debate offer last week. Nov. 8 or 10 — DeSantis should put up or shut up. Anything else is just games," the spokesman said in a statement.

The letter offering a formal debate included several rules, including that the debate would be live, moderated by Hannity, held at a length of 90 minutes and that both governors would refrain from using notes. Newsom also offered Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina as potential locations.

DeSantis and Newsom have frequently been at odds over a number of issues including guns, abortion, education and immigration. In June, Newsom told NBC News that he was planning to launch an investigation into planes of migrants flown to California, which were orchestrated by DeSantis' administration.

After DeSantis accepted the invitation Wednesday, he told Hannity the debate was about far more than blue states vs. red states.

"This is the debate for the future of our country. Because you have people like Joe Biden -- they would love to see the Californi-cation of the United States ... And I think if we go down that direction, that’s going to accelerate American decline," DeSantis said.

"We can’t see America decline anymore,” he added.