Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott will not stand for cold feet. He was so upset by his Democratic opponent's onstage fan that he refused to come out for the debate. For the first few minutes of the debate only Democratic challenger Charlie Crist can be seen. However, you can hear Governor Scott from the sidelines ranting about the fan.
Reuters reports that the fan is only the start of the problems between these two candidates. In fact, the campaigns against one another are so ugly that the panel from the debate warned that voters were getting upset with all the negativity in both campaigns. The warning obviously fell on deaf ears as the two continued their bickering throughout the entire debate.
So why was the tiny fan so important to Scott? Scott's campaign said the debate rules allowed for "no electronics on the podium," according to one panelist, presumably a reference to equipment that might be used as cheat sheets or prompts for the candidates. The debate moderator had to step out to explain what was happening when Scott did not appear on stage for the debate.
"Let me explain what this is all about. Governor Crist has asked to have a fan, a small fan, placed underneath his podium. The rules of the debate that I was shown by the Scott campaign say that there should be no fan. Somehow there is a fan there, and for that reason ladies and gentlemen I am being told that Governor Scott will not join us for this debate."Crist was asked by Rosemary Goudreau from the Sun Sentinel if he was in violation of the agreement. Crist then retorted that he would rather debate education or the economy.
"Are we really going to debate about a fan or are we going to talk about education, and the economy and the future of our state. I mean really!"When Scott finally appeared, apparently deciding to unhappily take the stage with the now infamous fan, moderator Eliott Rodriguez remarked to the audience; "Ladies and gentlemen, that has to be the most unique beginning to any debate, not only in Florida, but I think anywhere in the country."
It isn't just a fan that the two disagree on. In fact, the duo seems to disagree on just about everything. Though other topics such as the "stand your ground" law, same-sex marriage and education were discussed, it didn't stop the "fan incident" from taking over the entire debate. It appears that regardless of other topics discussed, the fan is now what will be used by both campaign managers to make their point.
Following the debate, according to Fox News, Scott's campaign released a statement that no fan or other appliance could help Crist.
"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."Crist's campaign also didn't drop the fan from their dialogue noting that the whole thing was pretty amazing.
"If you're as amazed as I am by what you just saw, chip in a few bucks right now to make sure this guy doesn't get to stay our Governor."Meanwhile, over in Oregon, their governor was praised earlier this year after he performed CPR on a woman, saving her life.