After the thousands of words poured out Thursday night during a debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, two words uttered by Newsom’s wife ended the show.
“We’re done,” Jennifer Siebel Newsom said after taking the stage during a break, according to NBC News, citing an unnamed source.
Her husband and DeSantis had just agreed to continue the zinger-fest for another half-hour, but Siebel Newsom’s word was apparently final.
An aide to Newsom whom Politico did not name said both sides were ready to quit.
“Ron didn’t want to do the debate anymore, either. Everyone shook hands and left,” the aide said.
Newsom himself explained the sudden ending by saying “everyone started panicking on both sides” as each candidate “had someplace to be,” according to NBC.
DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo offered an unsurprising take on the end of the debate.
“Gavin Newsom got beat so badly last night his wife literally had to throw in the towel for him. It was embarrassing,” he said.
Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said the real problem was with the moderator, Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“As DeSantis did worse and worse, Sean Hannity tried harder and harder to rehabilitate him,” Click said. “Gavin Newsom crushed Ron DeSantis deep on his home turf.”
The Newsom camp also claimed Hannity broke agreed-upon debate rules by showing the television audience on-screen graphics.
The Democratic side accused DeSantis of cheating as well.
Casey DeSantis, the governor’s wife as well as one of his political advisers, was seen speaking with her husband during an intermission, even though the rules allegedly barred the debaters from receiving advice.
The quick huddle took place as a group of DeSantis aides lined up near a bathroom, according to Politico.
“She was ready to coach him when his fake bathroom break happened,” the Newsom aide said. “Our guy never left the podium once. He didn’t take a bathroom break. We didn’t have any interaction with him the whole debate. He knew the rules and followed them.”
Newsom’s staff further accused DeSantis of violating a supposed rule that said the governors could only bring a pen and pad of paper onstage.
DeSantis turned heads when he displayed a map of San Francisco showing places where human feces had been spotted. He also showed images from “Gender Queer,” a pornographic book available in California schools.
According to Politico, a Fox spokesperson said, “The word ‘props’ was never discussed ahead of the debate, not one time.
“The final agreement simply stated that neither side (Newsom or DeSantis) can use multimedia production. That was an issue about whether each side wanted to do a short production on what makes their individual states great at the start of the debate.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.