Tags: | florida | governor | rick scott | charlie crist | debate | fan

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott: I Didn't Refuse to Debate Over Fan

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 08:41 PM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott told CNN he didn't refuse to take the stage Wednesday night in a debate with challenger Charlie Crist – it was debate organizers who told him that Crist wasn't going to join the debate.

"I was anxious to get out there," Scott said Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"I was sitting in the back. I was told he wasn't going to show up. And I was sitting back there waiting for them to tell us to come out. And they didn't tell us to come out, and then he went out there," the Republican incumbent said.

Debate organizers back up Scott's version.

Fox News Channel reported that debate officials say Crist's campaign wanted to use a fan if it was too hot on stage. Temperature checks before the debate showed it to be 66 degrees under the lights, but Crist's staff put the fan under Crist's lectern anyway.

Debate officials said on Thursday that Scott never refused to participate, but was awaiting a rules clarification when Crist went onstage without him. Scott told CNN he was waiting in a trailer when staff told him Crist had gone onstage, so he immediately joined him and began the debate.

Officials with Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association said they "did not anticipate or plan for the possibility that a candidate would not honor the debate rules."

Blitzer had a copy of the rules in which someone had written in by hand that there could be no fan "with the understanding that the debate host will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary."

Scott, the Republican incumbent, and Crist, his Democratic challenger who preceded him in the governor's office when he was still a Republican, will debate again on CNN on Tuesday.

"CNN rules are: no fans," Blitzer told Scott. I've been told definitively by CNN no fan at that debate next Tuesday."

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott told CNN he didn't refuse to take the stage Wednesday night in a debate with challenger Charlie Crist – it was debate organizers who told him that Crist wasn't going to join the debate.
florida, governor, rick scott, charlie crist, debate, fan
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2014-41-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 08:41 PM
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