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Five key moments from the Newsom-DeSantis debate



They came, they saw, they yelled at each other. A lot.

Somewhere in the 100 or so minutes of crosstalk and insults tonight was Fox News’ heavily-promoted “The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate” between Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Touted by moderator Sean Hannity as a contest of ideas — an opportunity to sort through two clashing governing philosophies that have come to define this divided country — the event wound up more of a verbal smackdown, with both DeSantis and Newsom at one point accusing the other of being a bully.

“What are we actually doing here?” Newsom asked rhetorically early in the night. It was likely a question on many viewers’ minds as Hannity, begging not to be the “hall monitor,” repeatedly tried to cut through the jumble of shouting to urge his participants to let each other speak.

The answer would be made clear before the telecast was over, when Hannity, finally turning the presidential campaign subtext of the whole affair into text, prodded Newsom: “Will you say, unequivocally, under no circumstances are you running?”

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