California Gov. Gavin Newsom has moved on from attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to attacking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

A full-page ad released Friday in the Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and El Paso Times taking aim at Texas’s Heartbeat Act, while highlighting a new gun control law in California that restricts ownership to those age 21 and older, as well as further regulating gun ownership. 

California modeled its latest gun control legislation on the enforcement mechanism of the Texas Heartbeat Act. The Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, empowers private citizens to sue doctors for performing abortions. Similarly, Californians are empowered to sue fellow citizens for breaking its new law banning “assault weapons.” 

Newsom’s ad, therefore, modified a quote from Abbott taken during the passage of the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

Abbott said: “Our Creator endowed us with the Right to Life. And yet… children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives.”

Newsom’s modification reads: “Our creator endowed us with the right to life. And yet… children lose their right to life every year because of gun violence. In California, we work to save those lives.”

The attack against Abbott comes just weeks after a commercial opposing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ conservative policies, where Newsom claimed that DeSantis was attacking freedoms and urged Floridians to join the fight in California. 

With much speculation surrounding Newsom’s recent attacks, speculation has grown that Newsom may be laying groundwork for a 2024 presidential campaign. 

Although Newsom has said that he is not eyeing a 2024 presidential run, and that he supports Joe Biden in running for re-election, many say differently. 

California GOP chairwoman Jessica Patterson says that Newsom’s recent trip to D.C. was really about “measuring the drapes in the west wing.”

Nevertheless, many critics of Newsom’s latest gun control legislation, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), say it encourages “vigilantism.” The ACLU called Newsom’s legislation “an attack on the constitution” for sidestepping judicial review. 

“It’s absolutely true that I’d much rather follow, ‘When they go low, we go high,” Newsom told NBC News. “But I also think we’d be completely missing the moment we’re living in. The door’s open. It’s now fair play. The Supreme Court left the door open.”

A spokesperson for Abbott said, “Governor Newsom should focus on all the jobs and businesses that are leaving California and coming to Texas.”

Emily Wilkerson

Emily is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is a senior at the University of Oklahoma, studying journalism with a minor in political science. She enjoys investigative journalism and making sure that every side of a story is being told.

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