Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Bill McCollum are squaring off in their second regionally televised debate of the week, and The Florida Independent is live-blogging the showdown from beginning to end!
Want to watch the action for yourself? The debate is airing on Tampa’s Fox 13, and streaming at the station’s website as well. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the back-and-forth, so please bookmark this page and use the comments section to opine away. Addicted to Twitter? Use the hashtag #ScottMcCollum. Pithy remarks below or on Twitter may even make it into the blog itself!
Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Bill McCollum just squared off in their second regionally televised debate of the week, and The Florida Independent live-blogged the showdown from beginning to end! Get yourself caught up on what went down after the jump.
7:26 And… we’re finished. Thrilling!
7:24 Scott sets record for a number of times “career politician” has been uttered in a single hour.
7:22 Scott: “I’ll stand up for states’ right.”
7:20 Q: What sports team do you support? McCollum: I support the conservative team, disappointed in Crist’s party switch.
7:16 Scott: “Solantic is a great company.” McCollum cites Herald’s story. Again.
7:15 Scott: “I believe we were doing the right things” at Columbia/HCA. McCollum hits Scott for Solantic lawsuits, confidentiality agreements.
7:15 Scott: Racial profiling is “despicable,” would not tolerate it.
7:14 Q: Are you concerned about the over-reach of an S.B. 1070-like law?
7:11 McCollum supports e-Verify, accuses Scott of plagiarizing plans.
7:10 Scott: “I’m against amnesty.” We need to pass an Arizona bill here.
7:09 McCollum: “I do support the Arizona immigration law.”
7:08 Q: How would you deal with illegal immigration?
7:07 McCollum: I took matching funds, you took money during Columbia/HCA fiasco.
7:06 Scott: “No one will own me.” Put up tons of money to “turn the state around,” more than anyone.
7:05 McCollum says he’s never been swayed by those donating to his campaigns.
7:03 McCollum “disappointed” in Jim Greer’s “complications.” Crimes?
7:00 McCollum: “I’ve been surging in the polls.” Cites endorsements.
6:59 Scott says the state shouldn’t fund campaigns at all.
6:58 Q: Is it fair that the state not give McCollum matching funds?
6:57 McCollum says Scott’s plan will substantially increase the state budget.
6:54 Wilson asks McCollum about 527 groups (Florida First Initiative and Alliance for America’s Future). McCollum says he has no relationship with AAF. Scott is incredulous.
6:50 McCollum: Cites Miami Herald research (reported in part first by TFI) that Solantic has been sued 10 times.
6:49 McCollum: “Why are you running for governor? Who are you?” Says he runs ads to show voters who Scott is.
6:47 Q: What have campaign finance changes done to your campaigns?
6:45 Scott echoes the campaign ad, accusing McCollum of voting 42 times for tax hikes.
6:42 McCollum points to Solantic accusations as a continuation of Columbia/HCA misdeeds. Scott says allegations come from one disgruntled employee.
6:40 Scott: I learned lessons, “we should have had more verification.”
6:40 Q: Scott, you say you can manage a budget, but what about Columbia/HCA?
6:38 McCollum wants to reduce corporate income tax, eliminate sales tax in high-tech equipment, reduce “regulatory burden.”
6:37 Jobs, jobs, jobs: “Where do you begin?” Wilson asks.
6:35 McCollum says he doesn’t like Scott’s accusation that McCollum doesn’t support Arizona’s immigration enforcement bill, S.B. 1070.
6:34 Scott defends his record at Columbia/HCA, criticizes McCollum for highlighting fraud there.
6:34 Wilson asks candidates what they’ve been disappointed in from appointment.
6:33 Bill McCollum: “This election is about making Florida great again.” Pledges to create 500,000 new jobs. Think jobs will come up?
6:32 Rick Scott gives his opening remarks first: “Our budget’s in shambles.” We need “fresh ideas.” Pledges to create 700,000 jobs.
6:31 Moderator John Wilson lays down the rules.