Tags: Florida gubernatorial debate | Charlie Crist | Rick Scott | fan

Charlie Crist's Fan Nearly Causes Gov. Rick Scott to Blow Off Debate

Charlie Crist's Fan Nearly Causes Gov. Rick Scott to Blow Off Debate
Gov. Rick Scott, right, and Charlie Crist face off in the second of three Florida gubernatorial debates. (Micheal Laughlin/MCT/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:24 AM

One might say Wednesday night's debate between Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist was a bunch of hot or rather, cool air.

The contentious debate between the politicians nearly didn't happen when Scott refused to take the stage until at least six minutes after the scheduled time, purportedly upset over Crist's demand that he have a fan placed under his lectern.

Story continues below video.


Scott's campaign is claiming the governor never refused to take the stage, but believed that Crist was in an "emergency meeting with organizers pleading for his precious fan," Fox News reports.

After the debate, the Scott campaign circulated a memo titled "The Crist Hits the Fan." His spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers, issued a statement saying "Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave, and toaster to debates — none of that will cover up how sad his record as governor was compared to the success of Rick Scott. Crist should buy a fan for the 832,000 Floridians who lost their jobs while he was governor."

While Crist's penchant for a cool breeze made national news this week, his fan has long been his companion on the road, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, which notes that someone created a Twitter account for the fan in 2009.

The bio for the account called "Charlie Crist's Fan" reads: "I'm Tanman's only friend. I go wherever he goes. I keep him calm, cool and sweat-free. My job demands that I be discreet as [expletive]."

The Twitter account lit up Wednesday night, with lots of snarky comments and parodies about Crist's fan. The account holder tweeted:
In February, The Washington Post wrote a lengthy piece on Crist and recounted a story the writer witnessed while on the road with him. Crist dispatched a staffer to go get him a fan at Target.

"While Crist sits patiently in a chair, rubbing anti-glare cream on his face, Clark jumps a curb in her car, carrying a mini tower fan. Crist can't be seen sweating. 'I definitely broke a few laws to get this,' she says, bursting into the room with moments to spare. She puts the fan on the ground beside Crist. But it's not hitting him quite right. So she kneels on her leaf-print skirt and holds it up, the cool air kissing Crist's face as it glows in the spotlight."

"Sorry," he mouths to her.

"Don't write about this," she mouths to me.

In The Miami Herald's story about Fan Gate at Wednesday's debate, the newspaper included a photo of Crist at an August meeting with the newspaper's editorial board in which he is using a fan.

When Scott originally did not appear on stage, debate moderator Elliot Rodriguez, a Miami television news anchor, told the crowd that a fan was not supposed to be on the stage. At the end of the debate, Rodriguez asked Crist why he insisted on bringing the fan.
"Why not?" Crist responded. "Is there anything wrong with being comfortable?"

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One might say Wednesday night's debate between Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist was a bunch of hot - or rather, cool - air.
Florida gubernatorial debate, Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, fan
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2014-24-16
Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:24 AM
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