Concluding his recent tenure as Fox News Radio's post-debate commentator for the "Red vs. Blue" debate between Presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and possible Presidential hopeful and California Governor Gavin Newsom, President John Pudner visited Eugene, Oregon and host Robb Holloway to not only analyze the highlights from the debate, but more importantly, how the views expressed by Newsom showcase shifting visions within the Democratic party for 2024.
On one hand, President Joe Biden continues to run the tried and true campaign as the established, stable, and proven commodity in Democratic circles, a strategy which brought him success as a vice presidential candidate in 2008 and in 2020 for president. On the other, his support and popularity within more youthful and increasingly louder circles within the party continue to diminish as they prop up figureheads like Newsom, more vocal and forceful than their predecessors, that abide to a newer vision of staunch progressivism. As murmurs continue to increase about Democrats in prominent circles weary of running President Biden as their nominee, this topic looks to be one that will remain at the forefront of voters minds as they head to ballot boxes across our Republic next year.
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The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:
Desantis, Newsom, debate, moderating, Biden, abortion, points, case, effective.
TBORA President John Pudner and Robb Holloway.
Robb Holloway 00:00
Joining us on The Wake Up Call this morning, we've had him on the show before, President of Take Back Our Republic Action, an aide to President Bush in 2000, and he's the only person in US history to run a campaign defeating a majority leader in a primary, John Pudner. John, great to have you back on the show. Thanks for being with us.
John Pudner 00:20
Oh, thank you. Happy to be on!
Robb Holloway 00:23
I would have to say, and this doesn't really have to do with the debate as much, but the fact that they had a debate that included Gavin Newsom would lead me to believe that there are a lot of Democrats and people out there that are thinking that Newsom is going to throw his hat into a Democratic primary and potentially take on Joe Biden. What's your thoughts?
John Pudner 00:56
I think so, and I think for all his protesting that he's not running, I think he wants to be the backup choice. I mean, clearly, there are people trying to get Biden out on the Democratic side, and now, you don't really have a clear lane, you've got this Dean Phillips guy running out of Minnesota, who is actually primary-ing Biden...
Robb Holloway 01:16
Who is he? I mean, come on. Most people are gonna say, "Who's that guy?"
John Pudner 01:23
They are, but the interesting dynamic is that Joe Biden didn't put his name on the ballot in New Hampshire thinking you could then you just run a write-in and then dismiss whatever happens, but it does create this weird thing where you might actually have a New Hampshire primary where, because this guy is on the ballot, he does well if there's enough angst about Biden in the Democratic Party. I just think it's something that Newsom wants to nip in the bud and kind of say that he's the clear guy who can fund the campaign, and run it if you have to, if you have to go in other directions.
Robb Holloway 01:54
Okay, so here we have Newsom and DeSantis...I'm a little bit surprised that Newsom actually was willing to do this, particularly not only because it was Fox News, but because you have Sean Hannity who's moderating the debate. That doesn't seem like he would see that as friendly confines. What do you think his reasoning was?
John Pudner 02:19
I give him points for degree of difficulty, sure, If we were grading it, and I think some gave him kudos as for just being on. The interesting thing, though, is I thought hey may make an appeal to a little more moderate voters or show conservatives thathe can do some good business things, but he really went the other way. He basically spent the whole time saying conservatives are bad news, so it seems to me like his thought process was that some Democrats would tune in because there'll be curious, ones that've never watched Fox News, and I want to show him I'm the guy who can be tough and can say what they want to hear in this setting. It seems like probably positioning himself for 2028 or a just in case, in 2024, something opens up, but yeah, definitely did not do the tactic of moderating at all, he was using the Democrat playbook and that everything Biden's done has been great last night.
Robb Holloway 02:19
Did they get any TV ratings back from that debate last night? Any word on that?
John Pudner 02:32
Well, I have not seen the ratings this morning and I haven't seen any overnight.
Robb Holloway 03:28
Okay, so they covered a bunch of things from immigration, to book bans, to abortion. Where do you think they scored the most between the two of them? Where do you think they scored their best points between Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis?
John Pudner 03:54
I think DeSantis had good bookends. I think he opened and closed on high points. The first one was kind of funny, you know, talking to one of the many who moved from California to Florida and, you know, laid everything out and said, "By the way, that was your father-in-law", and for Newsom, that one didn't seem to have a comeback. I mean, it seemed like he could have said that families disagree a lot or something, but that was the one time I thought he was a little deer in headlights. I think DeSantis has a good start, but then holding up the chart at the end of the stuff lying in the streets in San Francisco, I thought, was a nice visual because some people are numbers oriented, may really follow all the facts and figures being put up, but a lot of people are visual too, and to show that you can't even run the city you came out of as governor, and that this is what happens when you're in charge, I just thought that was a good visual to kind of close on. So I think DeSantis' high points were at the beginning and end of the debate. Newsom made it clear that their (Democrats) playbook is abortion. They don't have many things they're popular on, but they have set a pretty good streak unfortunately, and I think he scored there because I think that's the one place DeSantis missed a chance. I think every time they hit on that they basically say you do not care about women, and I just think, in the past, DeSantis has been very effective about talking about biological men playing in women's sports, an issue that's 75% of people side with conservatives on. I just think that should always be the counter, and I don't think he ever really did that or maybe touched on it. Newsom was on message coming back to abortion every chance he got because it's the only thing they're fairing well on right now.
Robb Holloway 06:02
One of our emailers writes, "I was more than a bit shocked at how demeaning, unprofessional, arrogant and stupid sounding Gavin Newsom was. He came across as a dysfunctional bully, did everything he could to disrupt, and trashed the whole debate. He seems like a spoiled preppy. What was your view of the way that he comported himself?"
John Pudner 06:25
I think slick is the word I'm hearing a lot too, which is pretty much in line with your email, but he has been a sharp guy who can make the case for policies that really, objectively, have not worked, someone who can argue effectively, but do you feel like he's a used car salesman? That was the response right away, thinking this guy is not us trying to sell something that we know is right. We know the immigration policy isn't working. I mean, they're very few things Joe Biden's immigration policy is working on, and yet, he slickly made the case that it is. I'm just not sure that worked, and again, he wasn't trying to moderate his views at all, he was going full left all night last night.
Robb Holloway 07:23
I think that DeSantis, in particular, where he was really hammering away on what San Francisco, and the whole thing about the, you know, poop on the street app, and about only cleaning the city up was when a dictator came to town, which was, of course, the Chinese dictator, I found that to be pretty effective.
John Pudner 08:00
Yes, you articulated that very well. I just made the general reference to the picture, you filled in the gaps very nicely there. I mean, it was part of a holistic picture, not only how things fall apart when you (Newsom) run them, but the hypocrisy of who you're cozying up to there. I just think that was a very strong close for DeSantis.
Robb Holloway 08:23
All right. Well, John, we appreciate you joining us on The Wake Up Call this morning.