Gavin Newsom trolls Greg Abbott in Texas newspaper ads

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The governors of America’s two most populous states are engaged in a passive-aggressive political battle that could spill over into the 2024 presidential election.

Driving the news: California Governor Gavin Newsom recently released full page ads in Texas newspapers criticize Texas Governor Greg Abbott on gun laws and reproductive rights.

  • “If Texas can ban abortion and put lives at risk, California can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives. If Governor Abbott is serious about protecting the right to life, we urge him to follow the ‘California example,’ reads one of the ads.

The context: Newsom recently signed a gun control bill modeled after Texas’ abortion ban.

Why is this important: While Abbott’s aspirations for national office have yet to be determined, Newsom’s future presidential campaign seems inevitable — and he’s staking his turf by criticizing Texas policies that sound poorly even in the Lone Star State.

Catch up fast: For years, Abbott courted California companies and California Residents touting Texas’ relatively low taxes, minimal regulations, and conservative political leanings in the state. Abbott campaigned with the slogan “Don’t make California my Texas!

  • Earlier this month, Newsom ran ads in Florida — another red state with a governor who could be a future challenger in a presidential campaign — encouraging residents to move to California.

By the numbers: Even before the pandemic, 50,000 Californians moved to Texas each year, often settling around Dallas.

  • Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the country and gained two congressional seats in the last census, while California is growing slower than the national average and lost two districts.

What they say : “I think the Democrats played a little soft,” Newsom says NBC Last week.

  • “It’s absolutely true that I would much rather follow, ‘When they go low, we go high’, but I also think we would completely miss the moment we’re living in.”

The bottom line: With both governors re-elected this year and a wide-open presidential election in 2024, this battle has only just begun.

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