Governor debates get down and dirty
We all thought the debates between former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and current Gov. Rick Scott couldn’t have gotten more heated than the incident of the first debate, when Scott refused to come on stage because of a small electrical fan under Crist’s podium.
However, things got even hotter during the last debate held by CNN in Tallahassee on Oct. 21 when the two took jabs at each other’s livelihoods and upbringings.
Scott, who reported his net worth last year at $132.7 million, consistently compared his tragic upbringing to Crist’s “plenty of money” childhood.
“He talks about that I’ve done fine in life,” Crist said in rebuttal. “Listen, when I was a little kid, we lived in a small apartment in Atlanta when my dad was going to medical school and he used to delivered newspapers to make ends meet. So you don’t know me, and you can’t tell my story.”
At this point, Crist, whose reported total worth was at $1.25 million last year, was fighting back claims that Scott was making against him after almost every question.
The two also discussed the economy, racial concerns and the death penalty, but there was always some sort of backhanded remark about how the other candidate was not fit for the job. This, of course, is common in the political race to make it to the top, but at this level it was borderline comical.
What should have been a match between two skilled pugilists duking it out for the state championship in concept turned out to be more like a sassy argument between two women fighting over the last pair of designer jeans at a Macy’s one-day sale.
The crowning moment that really tipped this debate over the edge, though, was during a question about the death penalty in Florida. It led to an intense argument between the two over an execution that Scott had rescheduled last year due to it conflicting with a fundraiser for Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Scott stated that executions were a “solemn duty” and that the decision weighs heavy on him, but to reschedule someone’s death for a fundraiser doesn’t make it sound like it was a weighty decision, and Crist reassured that feeling.
It got awkward when Crist asked Scott in a yes-or-no manner whether he knew that the rescheduling was for a fundraiser, and Scott refused to answer.
Overall, the debate went something like what a political argument should have gone: lively and the runners never wanting to give up the higher ground.
It would be nice to see the issues that Floridians are most concerned about get the factual, straight answers that we’re looking for, but most of the debates have been a fight over who had the worst childhood.
To me, someone running for governor should be an honest, hardworking, respectful man who can get things done for the people he works for. It’s hard to see any of those qualities in the candidates running so far.