California Governor Gavin Newsom is hitting back at Ron DeSantis’s exaggerated claims about California crime.
During the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, which was held in Simi Valley, California, DeSantis claimed that he had heard several stories pointing to a crime increase in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Just being in Southern California over the last couple of days, my wife and I have met three people who have been mugged on the street,” he said.
After the debate, Newsom quickly fired back and invited DeSantis to be real about “crime rates in his own backyard.”
“This may be an opportunity, I appreciate, to look up ‘Jacksonville, Florida,’ and he may want to familiarize himself with ‘Miami, Florida’ and his homicide rates, which are 100 percent higher than San Francisco,” Newsom said.
DeSantis has been known to exaggerate crime rates in blue states while making factually inaccurate statements about the reality of crime in Florida.
It’s hard to do a proper comparison of crime between California and Florida, in part because of the latter’s flawed reporting methods. But in 2022, San Francisco had 56 homicides, while Jacksonville had 154 and Miami had 132, according to the Major Cities Police Violent Crime Report. And in general, violent crime—including the murder rate—is decreasing nationwide.
Newsom also took a swing at the Republican narrative that crime runs rampant in liberal states.
“I think people are getting a little exhausted by the fact that we’re focusing on New York’s crime rate and not the crime in these other Republican-led cities in Republican states,” Newsom said.
“Crime is a real issue, but I find the hypocrisy, the unwillingness to be honest with the American people, and the unwillingness to take responsibility—Ron DeSantis, take responsibility for his own crime rates in his own major cities. I find that curious, not surprising,” he added, calling out DeSantis directly.