Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

DeSantis wins tense Florida gubernatorial debate against Gillum, Trump claims

President Trump calls Tallahassee one of USA's President Trump says Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum will 'destroy Florida'
Pablo Mccormick | 22 October, 2018, 17:14

In a Saturday morning tweet, President Donald Trump praised gubernatorial hopeful Ron DeSantis and bashed Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, calling Tallahassee "one of the worst & most corrupt cities in the United States of America".

That dynamic was in full display in the segment excerpted above.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, said DeSantis is a "stooge" for Trump and called for a different tone in Florida than the president has set for the nation.

CNN's Jake Tapper will host the one-hour face-to-face beginning at 8 p.m. ET, from the WEDU studios in Tampa.

The new poll shows DeSantis at 47 percent, with Gillum at 45 percent and another 7 percent of voters unsure.

DeSantis strongly denied that his comment was about race, asserting that "Floridians can know that I'll be a governor for all Floridians".

And the GOP candidate turned the issue back on Gillum, accusing him of associating with people who have extreme views on police and Israel.

DeSantis said the state's governor's relationship with the president - whether he or she agrees with the office or not-is important for the state.

"You know what I'm black, I've been black all my life, so far as I know I will die black", Gillum said. "At every turn he's tweeting him". Gillum has said the Federal Bureau of Investigation told him he was not a focus of the probe.

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"When we're downrange in Iraq, it didn't matter your race", he said.

Gillum then accused DeSantis of trying to undermine another federal probe, the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation. DeSantis asked. "You have not proven that you paid for anything".

"That's what I thought", Gillum said, drawing laughter from the audience.

"DeSantis is working hard".

The new DeSantis poll shows a similar difference in results among those who already voted compared to the electorate at large.

That sparked one of the tensest moments of the debate.

Some of other exchanges in the debate revolved around the environment, and Gillum called out DeSantis for his skepticism on climate change while DeSantis accused the Tallahassee mayor of formulating a "California-style energy policy".

"Well, that was a mouthful", Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, deadpanned in response.

"Gillum will make Florida the next Venezuela!" "We're known as the Sunshine State, at the very least what we can do is be a global leader here".

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During Sunday night's debate, the two candidates also sparred over their environmental credentials, with Gillum calling DeSantis "an election-year environmentalist" and DeSantis saying he has battle scars that prove he is willing to stand up to his party on the issue.

"What Florida voters need to know is that when they elect me governor, they are going to have a governor who believes in science", he said, "which we haven't had for quite some time in this state".

Gillum avoided talking about Medicare for All and emphasized his support for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

"Did you pay for the Hamilton tickets?"

Meanwhile, early voting is about to get underway in Florida.

Though those efforts, both in Congress and the courts, succeeded in changing the law and ending coverage regulations for people who have pre-existing conditions, DeSantis said, he would push through statewide legislation to counteract them. DeSantis harped on high crime in Tallahassee and increased taxes that would be necessary to fund Gillum initiatives including more money for schools.

Trump also factored into Sunday's debate.

Gillum trashed Trump again and again. "He's going to have Soros clapping, he's going to have Hollywood actors clapping but the people of Florida will be left behind".

"That's just not the way it works", said his opponent Ron DeSantis, who won the Republican nomination based on Trump's endorsement.

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