In a heated exchange during a nationally televised debate last week, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis shared a personal conversation he had with the father-in-law of California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. DeSantis discussed how a gentleman he spoke to, who had moved from California to Florida, expressed praise for Florida’s governance, safety, budget, and lower taxes. To everyone’s surprise, the man turned out to be none other than Gavin Newsom’s own father-in-law, Kenneth Siebel, who had relocated to Naples, Florida, in 2020.
— Steve Wilson (@Wilsonstevenlee) December 6, 2023
However, Siebel claims that DeSantis twisted the narrative. According to the 82-year-old, he and his wife actually moved to Florida from Montana, not directly from California. He also states that he never made remarks about Florida’s budgeting or crime rates, as DeSantis alleged. Siebel expressed his anger towards DeSantis, calling his comments “a downright slimy lie.” He emphasized that he moved to Florida to be closer to his friends, not because of any negative perception of California.
Despite Siebel’s objections, a representative for DeSantis suggested that this was simply damage control on behalf of Newsom. The representative pointed out that Siebel had actually donated to DeSantis’ 2022 re-election campaign, and suggested that the comments were an attempt to mitigate the damage caused by Newsom’s poor performance during the debate.
It’s clear that this conversation between DeSantis and Siebel has sparked controversy and added fuel to the ongoing feud between the two governors. With high stakes and tense relations, it’s no surprise that both sides are seeking to gain the upper hand through any means necessary. As the political battle continues, it remains to be seen if any further revelations or rebuttals will come to light. One thing is for certain: this feud between DeSantis and Newsom is far from over.