April 13, 2024

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom will take the debate stage on Thursday night, marking an usual event between a Republican presidential candidate and a high-profile Democratic governor.

The 90-minute debate, moderated by Sean Hannity on Fox News, will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET. Those without cable can stream the debate on live TV streamers such as DirecTV Stream, Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV.

It is extremely atypical for a presidential candidate to debate a political figure who is not also running in the presidential race, however Newsom had challenged DeSantis to a debate more than a year ago, when the Florida Governor had not yet announced his presidential campaign. Although Newsom is not running for president in the 2024 election, the high-profile debate will likely catalyze already-stirring speculation that he has his eyes on the highest office.

Hannity has announced that his debate questions will revolve around the two governors’ vastly different strategies in running their respective states, with issues such as the economy, the border, immigration, crime and inflation as likely topics.

“It’s not going to be PBS. I don’t want it to be PBS. PBS bores me,” Hannity told Variety about how he plans to moderate the debate. “If they want to have a food fight, you know what? Been there, done that. No thanks. It’s a format that I think is stale and doesn’t work. It’s predictable. For me, I’m much more interested in ‘Why do you believe that? ‘Explain this to me.’ ‘How do you not see this part of it?’ Trying to elicit answers, smart answers from people.”

While Newsom is hoping to raise his national profile with Thursday night’s debate, he will also likely use the podium to make a case for President Joe Biden’s second term. For 2024, Mr. Newsom has firmly backed Biden and has promised to not threaten the president’s re-election campaign.

DeSantis, meanwhile, has been losing steam in recent polls and is counting on a strong performance in front of a national primetime audience to increase popularity with voters.

Stream the Newsom-DeSantis debate below:

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