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Governor Newsom releases ads urging Floridians to ditch their state and move to California

“Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom says in the ad

Governor Newsom's ad campaign
Campaña publicitaria del gobernador Gavin Newsom | Gavin Newsom / YouTube

July 5, 2022 7:30pm

Updated: July 6, 2022 7:08pm

California Governor Gavin Newsom launched an ad campaign over the Fourth of July weekend urging Florida residents to pack up and head to California, sparking backlash from his Sunshine State counterparts.

“It’s Independence Day,” Newsom said in the ad. “So let’s talk about what’s going on in America.” The ad then shows distorted images of DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.

While the 30-second ad does not mention Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by name, Newsome's add takes aim at several of his administration's policies.

“Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom says. “Republican leaders — they are banning books. Making it harder to vote. Restricting speech in classrooms. Even criminalizing women and doctors.”

Newsom then encourages Florida residents to fight against the GOP’s policies by moving to California.

“I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight,” Newsom adds. “Or join us in California where we still believe in freedom.”

“Don’t let them take your freedom,” Newsom ends the ad.

Newsom allegedly bought over $105,000 worth of ad spots that aired on Fox News in Florida to get his message through.

DeSantis’ team and other Florida officials wasted little time in responding to Newsom’s attack.

“Shouldn’t you be worried about California?” Tweeted Florida Department of Health spokesman Jeremy Redfern, showing pictures of California’s homeless encampments and dirty beaches.

“Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire,” said campaign spokesman Dave Abrams in a statement. “Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida.”

Florida Representative Kat Cammack said the ad was ironic given the number of Californians that are moving to Florida in recent years.

“Over 60,000 Californians have gotten their Florida driver's licenses in the last three years. In Florida, we're about freedom and faith and family. And in California, it looks like high taxes, crack pipe distribution centers, homeless tent cities and apps that you can download in order to report feces on the sidewalk,” she said.

Florida residents also seemed to have responded negatively to the ad. “It’s been mostly negative so far,” said Suzanne Hopking, a researcher and polling company manager.

“The data is still incomplete, but a lot of viewers have been calling the ad ‘patronizing’, ‘wrong’, ‘disingenuous’, ‘out of touch’, and, perhaps most bluntly ‘bad’. Three people actually called him a ‘Star Wars villain’ from his tone,” she added.