“People vote with their feet”

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hit back at his Californian counterpart Gavin Newsom, saying the Democrat’s “terrible governance” was the reason the Golden State was “a haemorrhage of people.”

“People vote with their feet,” he said at a press briefing at Cape Coral High School on July 8. ”

“Yes, we have created a citadel of freedom here that has attracted people, and we are proud of it. But let’s be clear. California is scaring people away with its terrible governance,” he added.

DeSantis made the remarks in response to a 30-second ad campaign Newsom launched around the July 4 holiday, rallying Sunshine State residents to move to California, a state he said “still believes.”[s] freely. »

“Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom said in the 30-second Fox News ad targeting state legislative acts, such as a 15-week abortion ban and a bill banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation from kindergarten through the school year. 3.

Newsom and DeSantis face gubernatorial re-elections in November. The announcement fueled speculation that Newsom is positioning himself as a candidate for the 2024 presidential race, although the governor himself has disavowed such intentions. DeSantis, while enjoying growing support among Republican voters, did not say whether he would run.

“Everyone wants to talk about me and Florida,” DeSantis said at Friday’s press conference when asked about Newsom’s Florida announcement. “I’m just sitting here, little old me, doing my job.”

He brushed off the California governor’s apparent violation of his own pandemic restrictions, noting that Newsom dined at the $350-per-person French Laundry restaurant even when the state was on lockdown.

It was “to rub the noses of his citizens for treating them like peasants,” DeSantis said.

Newsom later apologized for attending the 12-person dinner, calling it a “bad mistake”.

Despite the California governor’s plea for Floridians to join his state, DeSantis noted that the traffic seems to be going the other way.

A recent analysis by Moody’s Analytics shows that red states have overtaken blue states in the economic recovery. Florida from July 2020 to July 2021 gained more than 211,000 residents, placing it second only to Texas in net population growth, according to census population estimates. About 262,000 residents left California during the same period, the second largest population decline after New York.

Businesses are also flocking to Republican states where tax policies and regulations are more business-friendly.

Florida ranked as the second best state for business in a Forbes survey of about 700 CEOs and business owners, while California was near the bottom of the list.

“I was born and raised in this state and until the last few years I rarely saw a California license plate in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “You see a lot of that now. I can tell you that if you go to California, you won’t see many license plates in Florida.

“It’s almost hard to drive people out of a place like California given all of their natural advantages, and yet they find a way to do it,” DeSantis said.

The Epoch Times contacted Newsom’s office for comment.

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Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times who focuses on US-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]
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