Rick Scott Says It Wasn't His Decision Not to Come Out on Stage Over a Fan
Michele Eve Sandberg
FanGate is only going to get more insufferably weird before it finally dies down.
Debate organizers Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association said in their statement Thursday that Crist had agreed to not bring his fan if the temperature were cool enough.
Organizers also say that both candidates signed a letter with the rules on them but that the Crist campaign signed it with a handwritten note scribbled on it reading, "*with understanding that the debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary."
The statement's conclusion was that Crist broke the rules.
But the Miami Herald's Politifact sifted the rules and found that were two sets of rules.
The candidates received rules in July that said there should be no electronic devices on stage. This rule is mainly to keep debaters from bringing cell phones or anything else that would give them an unfair advantage in debating issues.
The second set of rules Scott and Crist received, this one in October, had added fans to the list of electronic devices banned from the stage.
Now, this is where things get hinky.
From the Herald on why "fans" was added:
Maybe it had something to do with Scott's camp insisting Crist not use his fan and the fact that a debate sponsor, Leadership Florida, has ties to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which backs... Scott. It should be noted the debate was co-sponsored with the Florida Press Association, a news-media lobby group.
Could it be that Crist got shafted with the October rules by a Scott-backing sponsor?
Meanwhile, Scott appeared with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Thursday night and said that he was waiting to go on stage but that the organizers wouldn't let him.
Scott says the organizers told him Crist wasn't going to show up... even though Crist had been onstage for a good five minutes before Scott came out.
Scott's vague explanation is just as bizarre as the one he gave the night of the debate. When asked why he didn't come out onstage when asked to do so by the moderator, he says he waited until Crist showed up.
Overall, Crist probably did break the rules, even though the rules were never really all that clear. Organizers said there was no temperature issue inside Bailey Hall, so the fan was unnecessary. Crist brought one up anyway.
Meanwhile, Scott and Crist are set to debate a third time. Scott says Crist can bring up whatever electronic device he wants.
Take note: That debate will feature at least one question over FanGate. Because this thing will not die.
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