Gavin Newsom Was the Unexpected Star of the GOP Debate Room

The only major political figure who spent more time than anyone else in the GOP debate in the Spin Room wasn’t even a Republican: California Governor Gavin Newsom.

For Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, Newsom spoke with Sean Hannity on Fox News’ Hannity, chatted with CNN’s Dana Bash and chatted with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. He answered questions about his own ambitions as president, defended the state of California, praised the recent WGA-AMPTP agreement and even commented on the situation between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. “It was the XFL, the JV team,” Newsom said of the seven contestants who attended the event.

Some of the actual candidates who appeared on stage ventured into the shooting room for long periods of time, including Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, Mike Pence and Doug Burghum, but Newsom also conducted an interview round in the shooting room for a swarm of reporters before the debate. and film crews.

For most reporters covering a debate, the spin Room itself is the only way to really interact with the candidates and their teams. Unless a journalist works for the network hosting the debate, the media is located outside the debate room itself. In the case of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the debate took place in a spacious pavilion that houses Air Force One, while reporters were standing in a large tent on the other side of the complex.

In the middle and through an additional round of security was the Spin Room, which was located one flight of stairs from a library cafe. In the room, network facilities covered the walls, while employees held up posters with campaign employees who were available for interviews.

As crowded as the spin room may be, the purpose of the room is to reinforce what the candidates said on stage or to eliminate a faux pas or low point of the debate. One of the first candidates to appear in the room after the debate was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and although he promoted his own performance, he was hardly a booster of the debate itself, in which the candidates talked to each other and engaged in long debates. Fight. “If I was watching TV at home, I would have changed the channel,” he told Hannity.

A surrogate for Donald Trump, Kari Lake, scolded a reporter who asked about abortion laws. “You don’t seem to be very smart. You actually look pretty stupid,” she said, before turning elsewhere.

She also defended Trump’s decision to skip the debate, drawing criticism from candidates DeSantis and Chris Christie, the latter referring to the former president as “Donald Duck.”

“I know he’s not lacking in courage, but it doesn’t make sense for a guy who’s gone up by 60 points in the polls to show up and debate with the primary school’s debate team,” Lake told Deadline. “We have seven people on this platform who are in a weird vanity project.”

As Newsom has sharpened his national profile, speculation has surfaced that he is developing his presidential ambitions. He has tried to exclude her, certainly when it comes to challenging Biden, and he has done it again with Hannity.

“In your heart, in your mind, you want this,” Hannity said, “but you basically did a media tour making fun of Joe Biden, and you know he’s a cognitive mess. You know Are.”

Smiling, Newsom said: “I also know that his record is extraordinary and I couldn’t be more proud.”

In fact, Newsom will soon have the opportunity for debate when he attends an event hosted by Hannity and Fox News – a one-on-one meeting with DeSantis on November 30th that will be known as Red State vs.. Logistics, as well as audience size, are still being worked out.

The Spin Room gave a preview of what to expect as Newsom refuted DeSantis’ attacks on California over its crime problem, pointing to murder rates in Jacksonville and Miami.

Newsom also explained his comment to Fox 11 Los Angeles reporter Elex Michaelson that DeSantis “took the bait” when he agreed to host the event in November.

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Newsom told Deadline, “Why would you debate the governor of California who is not running for president of the United States?” “He’s running an ad today, not about his presidential campaign, but about the debate against me

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