California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the right choice by dropping out of the Republican race and might have saved his future.

When asked on MSNBC if his cross-country rival destroyed his political career by failing in his 2024 presidential bid, Newsom disagreed. 

“I think if he continued on,” Newsom said, “[DeSantis] was going to get trounced in his own state.”

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Newsom also responded to a video that DeSantis recently released of him on X getting his young son’s NFL playoff predictions.

“Just on a humanizing level, having spent a tiny bit of time with him but obviously studying him for some time, he’s a different guy,” Newsom told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner. “Now I saw him with his kid on a video, I’m like ‘who’s that guy?’”

“He was so wound up,” Newsom continued about DeSantis on the trail. “Joyless. And you know, you can say what you want about Trump. He seems a little less wound up. He is winding up in terms of his rhetoric but a little more entertaining in that respect. You have got to know your why. I never felt like he had a why.”

Newsom then criticized the other Republican presidential candidates for believing they could somehow “out-Trump Trump” with the former president still in the race. One by one, all of them have dropped out except for Nikki Haley over the past year.

“With Trump in the race, you were going to somehow try to deconstruct and connect and attach yourself to Trumpism with Trump in the race and sort of take it from him?” Newsom said. 

“The premise of it is rather — I don’t mean this as a cheap shot — rather delusional,” he added. “Maybe you didn’t think he was going to run, maybe you thought he was going to be convicted earlier for a crime, I don’t know what they were thinking, but it was so predictable. All of this was predictable.” 

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“With respect to Nikki Haley,” Newsom said, “I don’t know any state she can win, let alone her own state [of South Carolina].” 

Trump beat Haley by 10 points in the New Hampshire primary, following up his landslide win in the Iowa caucuses that prompted DeSantis to quit the race.

Haley won political moderates in New Hampshire by 24 points, while Trump won self-described “somewhat conservatives” by the same margin (+24 points). He ran up the score among very conservative voters (+68 points).

Fox News’ Polling Unit contributed to this report.