California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom took aim at a Florida college that he called ‘ground zero’ for what Republicans want to do to education nationwide.
The progressive champion singled out the Sarasota-based New College of Florida, whose board of trustees was revamped by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a Wednesday message to his 2 million Twitter followers. Newsom said the institution is banning books, among other allegations of limiting speech.
‘Last week, I went to New College in Florida – ground zero for what the [Republicans] are trying to do to education in this country,’ Newsom said on Wednesday.
‘Take a moment to watch this. Books are banned. Speech is limited. Faculty are scared. Students are bullied. This is just a small dose of what’s to come.’
Fox News Digital reached out to Newsom’s office asking them to provide a list of the alleged banned books at the institution. However, they failed to do so and did not respond to the inquiry.
Newsom’s attacks further add to the speculation he may be exploring a future presidential run. DeSantis, also a likely presidential contender, appointed six members to New College of Florida’s board of trustees in January. The college has since taken a rightward turn in pushing back against educational policies, including abolishing its diversity office.
Meanwhile, one of the college’s DeSantis-appointed trustees, Christopher Rufo, responded to Newsom’s message by saying he’s spreading falsehoods.
‘Gavin Newsom is spreading lies and falsely claiming that ‘books are banned’ at New College of Florida,’ Rufo said. ‘He wants to put all Americans under the boot of DEI commissars and California’s failed policies.’
Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, later said that Newsom visited the college to ‘spread lies about Ron DeSantis’ higher-education reforms’ and that ‘no amount of hair gel’ could stop them from ‘restoring classical liberal arts education in Florida.’
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During Newsom’s visit, he met with students and faculty who were reportedly upset with the school’s current trajectory, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
‘I’m crawling out of my skin for you guys,’ Newsom said during his visit. ‘I want you to know you’re not alone. You matter, we care. This is the ‘why I’m here.’ I’m not your governor. But I’m a member of the larger community all bound together.’
The California Democrat also took direct shots at DeSantis while at the college.
‘Weakness, Ron DeSantis – weakness masquerading as strength,’ Newsom said. ‘So, I want you to know you’re on the right side of history. You have something he’ll never have: moral authority.’
New College of Florida did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.