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DeSantis Zings Newsom In Primetime Debate: KFTK (St. Louis, MO) Fox News Interview

President John Pudner returned to the airwaves as Fox News Radio's post-debate commentator, traveling to St. Louis, Missouri to analyze and discuss the results and implications of Fox News' "Red vs. Blue" debate between Presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and possible Presidential hopeful and California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Pudner highlighted key, stand-out moments from the debate, primarily from DeSantis, with zingers such as how Newsom's own father-in-law took part in the now-infamous mass exodus from California to Florida, but also how San Francisco, a once shining beacon, has now become the prime example of Newsom's avarice and failures. Both he and hosts Marc Cox and Kim St. Onge also looked into how this could not only affect DeSantis' 2024 campaign, but also the aspirations of both figures and their respective parties, as both already set their sights on 2028 and beyond.

To learn more about TBOR Action's efforts on topics including election integrity, please click here.

The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:


Desantis, Newsom, debate, Hailey, campaign, San Francisco,, Biden, Trump, alternative


Kim St. Onge, Ron DeSantis, Gavin Newsom, Marc Cox, and TBORA President John Pudner

Gavin Newsom 00:00

I can handle it, I'm used to that, but you know what? Your attacks on the trans community, your attacks on the gay and lesbian community...

Ron DeSantis 00:06

That's wrong.

Gavin Newsom 00:07 attack vulnerable communities, you attack women, and again....Ron, relax. I can handle it. I'm used to bullying. You're nothing but a bully.

Ron DeSantis 00:16

You're a bully!

Gavin Newsom 00:17

Understand that intimidating and humiliating people is your calling card.

Kim St. Onge 00:22

I'm not a bully, you're a bully! That's kind of how it went last night at the red and blue debate on the Sean Hannity Show. Much of it was spent with them talking over each other and, most of the time, Sean Hannity did not seem to have a good grasp on shutting them down and just getting them to talk one at a time. We got John Pudner joining us this morning, President of Take Back Our Republic Action. John, welcome back to the show. What was your reaction to the big debate last night?

John Pudner 00:51

Well, I actually think they both missed a couple of opportunities. I think the facts were on Ron DeSantis' side, which helped. I thought the opportunity maybe to respond to the father-in-law-comment was one that was missed because that was sort of a zinger of the night that, one of the people who wanted to move from California to Florida, was your father-in-law.

Kim St. Onge 01:12

And he claims to have talked to him, right?

John Pudner 01:14

That's right. My immediate thought was, you know, Newsom could have at least come back with saying that a lot of families are fighting over politics now, or something, but it was nothing, so he kind of let the big soundbite get in there. I think the one opportunity DeSantis missed, though, is obviously they're going abortion, abortion, abortion. I mean, they don't have any good economic news, and I just think they frame this as attacking women, and it just seems to me that the men in women's sports is just the obvious comeback that should happen every time, so that was the only spot I thought maybe DeSantis missed one. I almost think that should always be the comeback, that's a 75% issue for conservatives, so that's the only opportunity DeSantis missed, but other than that, I think it was a good night for him, he just had the facts on his side.

Kim St. Onge 01:17

John, this is Kim. I know you think they both missed some comebacks they could have made...How do you think this could impact DeSantis as far as where he stands with these other GOP candidates?

John Pudner 02:15

It is tough because, obviously, DeSantis thought, by now, he'd be the clear alternative if it wasn't Trump. Right now, it certainly looks like a Trump-Biden match, but the first thing is if something happens to where one of them's not the nominee, but I think it's tough for him that he's been in a spot where the consensus out there is that Nikki Hailey's surging, are you the number two, versus, are you the one who's replacing Trump, which we would have thought last November? I still think it's tough. You start to wonder...I think Trump got a good line in saying, "Yeah, I'm watching the debate and kind of hope they both do well for 2028." This just seems as a warm-up for five years from now, which might be a more realistic goal unless something happens the front-runner right now?

Kim St. Onge 03:03

I mean, I thought the other DeSantis was this one. Go to cut 13, please.

Ron DeSantis 03:08

This is a map of San Francisco. There's a lot of plots on that. You may be asking, what is that plotting? Well, this is an app where they plot the human feces that are found on the streets of San Francisco, and you see how almost the whole thing is covered, because that is what has happened in one of the previous greatest cities this country's ever had.

Kim St. Onge 03:29

I thought, when you looked at the map, and it's a map of San Francisco, and it's mostly just brown, I thought that was a great zinger by DeSantis last night.

John Pudner 03:39

I thought it was, and it just reminds me of an old consultant, Dick Morris, who was real famous in pretty recent history, he had this great line, really non-partisan line, that your average person sort of likes Democrats to run things, they think they're nice, until they realize it's just the children running the operation, and you need to bring an adult in. It's nice for somebody to give you ice cream and candy every day, but you need...and I kind of felt like that's where it is like, and that was a perfect example. I thought he did a good job of hitting on how you cleaned up the city for show when a Chinese leader came to town, but not for the average people living there. I think that was a great one for him and that was sort of at the end, that was kind of the climax of the debates with him. It was the father-in-law first, and came back that at the end, I thought it was nice book and for DeSantis.

Kim St. Onge 04:34

We've got about a minute left, but I know Newsom, on multiple occasions, denied he's running this shadow campaign, kept saying no, it's going to be Biden and Harris. Are you buying that?

John Pudner 04:44

No, I certainly think he wants to be there as the alternative, and now he's got this Congressman Dean Phillips out of Minnesota actually running a campaign, who could actually win New Hampshire just because he's trying to put in a write-in campaign on the ballot to play above the fray. It's the same problem DeSantis has with Hailey - sort of perceived deceiving as moving heads now. He's got to establish himself as the alternative and I think he doth protest too much.

Marc Cox 05:15

Well, John, listen, we appreciate your input this morning and your thoughts on the debate. Thank you.


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