AT THE RACES: Let’s Get Real About The Florida Governor’s Debate

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Oct 09, 2010 1:04 PM
AT THE RACES: Let’s Get Real About The Florida Governor’s Debate

The Florida governor’s debate on Friday night took talking points and platitudes to a new low. Neither Republican Rick Scott nor Democrat Alex Sink said anything of note for the entire sixty minutes they were on air.

Rick Scott has a seven-point plan for economic recovery. Alex Sink thinks that plan is worth about as much as a pile of horse manure. Rick Scott thinks Alex Sink wants felons to sell insurance. Alex Sink wants Rick Scott to answer questions about massive Medicare fraud at the hospital he owned.

Unfortunately for Alex Sink, Rick Scott has about as much money as God himself. So the possibility of him simply buying off criticism is high. Scott said in the debate that campaigns can’t be purchased, but his own party $50 million primary race would seem to contradict that. Whatever the case, Scott’s 13:1 cash advantage is jaw-dropping.

Scott’s also got an economic recovery plan. He may talk about that plan enough to make you nauseated, but the plan exists, unlike Alex Sink’s ambiguous promises to grow jobs, big-government style. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Sink is running as a Democrat in a year when it stinks to be a Democrat.

“Alex Sink is a proponent of many of the policies that are wrecking the country, on the national level,” said Joshua Landry of Ormond Beach, who attended a Scott campaign event. “We do not need that… we’ve got to have good conservative change not only in Florida, but in the entire country.”

Both of the candidates have business backgrounds, but Scott has a better angle from which to present his credentials; Sink spent time in state government, making financial regulation that comes from the same fire pit as President Obama’s. Again, Sink’s amorphous business background is a hard sell against Scott’s brick-and-mortar jobs blueprint.

“He has a lot of business sense to bring to government,” said Ken Ali, a city commission candidate from Daytona Beach. “Government should be run like a business. I believe he’s the best man for the job.”

The biggest issue in the campaign for most Floridians who are following it seems to be that Scott’s dirt is way dirtier than Sink’s dirt. A $1.2 billion fine from Medicare and Medicaid is a hard thing to run away with — Florida politicos say that Scott’s failure to address the issue is because the truth would really hurt. Scott said he wasn’t aware of what was going on, but what he knew and when he knew it will never be fully revealed to the public. Instead, the candidate will continue to ignore the issue, buy more advertisements, and focus on his jobs plan.

Sink’s relatively minor-league scandals have been downplayed by the Florida press. When Scott brought them up in the debate, they seemed like he was simply trying to change the subject from his own massive scandals.

“Obviously Rick Scott does not take any responsibility,” said Sink.