The debate between Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Charlie Crist was all that anyone could hope for, as both men came prepared and ready to brawl. From the onset, Rep. Crist went on the attack. He had to.
All of the recent public opinion polls show Gov. DeSantis leading Rep. Crist by 7-11 points, so Crist had to hammer DeSantis
Crist focused on abortion. Just about every single answer he gave, regardless of the question, was always directed at the issue of abortion.
In all honesty, Crist gave his best-ever debate performance.
As someone who has covered the Republican-turned-Independent-turned- Democrat for over a decade, Crist was on his game, but it wasn't enough to overshadow Gov. DeSantis.
Crist excited his base of support by asking DeSantis if he would complete his second term in office if he were to win reelection.
DeSantis refused to answer.
The agreed-upon debate rules stipulated that neither candidate could ask the other candidate a question during the debate. All the questions would come from the moderator.
Every question was followed by jab after jab after jab, and while Crist stepped up his criticism of DeSantis, DeSantis answered all of the questions substantively before taking a swipe at Crist.
The zinger of the night belongs to DeSantis.
"I know Charlie wants to talk about 2024 and Joe Biden, but let me be clear: The only worn-out old donkey I want to put out to pasture is
DeSantis donkey dunk on Crist was followed by a stung Crist calling him a bully and someone who reverts to name-calling.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 24, 2022
Giving credit where its do, Crist was relentless, but picked issue to attack DeSantis on—Hurricane Ian.
Crist criticized DeSantis of not preparing for the storm, but DeSantis did.
DeSantis responded to Crist's claim by pointed out that he had amassed 42,000 electrical linemen, as well as having thousands of first responders ready to act.
DeSantis then mocked Crist by saying he was hiding out in Puerto Rico and then began go solicit donations from storm victims. The Floridian was the first and only media outlet to report that Crist was soliciting campaign donations mere hours before and after the hurricane made landfall. Other outlets picked up on our reporting and reported on later donation asks.
President Joe Biden even praised DeSantis for his hurricane response.
In all, Crist did the best he could, but DeSantis was too much for him. The WPEC moderator Liz Quirantes did an exceptional job, but the the TV state dropped the ball by allowing so many unruly hecklers to enter the debate hall.