Recapping the DeSantis/Crist Debate

A rowdy crowd in Florida watched the only debate between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. It was filled with culture war talking points and facial twitches from one of those candidates, and a polished debate performance from the other.

This would be an appropriate synopsis:

The biggest takeaway was that DeSantis is more concerned about running against Joe Biden than he is being the governor of Florida.

The Florida economy and inflation.

DeSantis: “I’ll say this, people are flocking to Florida,” and then pointed out tax cuts and low unemployment as attributes.

Crist said the real problem was that Florida was the most expensive state to live in, according to Forbes magazine, and blamed DeSantis for “taking his eye off the ball.” He said the state was more expensive than places like California and New York.

DeSantis took many opportunities to say that Crist voted with Joe Biden 100% of the time, putting the blame on rising costs in Florida squarely on the national policy.

But Crist pointed out that utility costs had increased with every ask under DeSantis, and that those seeking property in Florida would be greeted with monumental property insurance costs.

Crist: “Property insurance under you has doubled, in the state of Florida. Doubled, Ron. That’s not good for the people of this state.”

The moderator moved on to immigration where DeSantis still was interested in “Joe Biden/Charlie Crist” policies.

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“We need to have a focus on education, and not politicize, make political warzones out of our schools,” Crist said. “We need to support our schools, support our teachers, have our parents involved, that’s absolutely essential. That’s what we need to get back, it’s basics, instead of having all of these culture and political wars like Ron wants to do. As I said, that’s because he wants to run for president. And he’s out of state raising all this money all the time.”

Governor Ron got called a liar from someone in the audience over his comments on abortion.

WFLA had a complete play-by-play of the debate.

Axios and NYT had synopses.

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