Florida Governor Almost Calls Off Debate Over Fan

Heated debate gets off to bizarre start
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2014 12:10 AM CDT

Florida Gov. Rick Scott almost called off his debate with Democratic challenger Charlie Crist last night over a fan—and not the kind that would want the Republican's autograph. At the start of the debate, Scott refused to come out for at least six minutes because Crist had an electric fan at his podium, which Scott's campaign claimed was a violation of the rules, reports the Miami Herald. "This is remarkable over a trivial issue no matter what side you're on," said one of the moderators before Scott relented and emerged for what turned out to be a heated and ill-tempered debate with the formerly Republican former governor, reports the Wall Street Journal.

After the debate—which touched on issues including same-sex marriage, climate change, and Medicaid funding—the Crist campaign released a copy of the debate rules, which showed that fans were allowed, and accused Scott of throwing a "temper tantrum," reports the Washington Post. The Scott campaign fired back, saying "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." The latest polls show the two in a dead heat. (More debate stories.)

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