No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

All Insults Nearly All The Time As Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum Debate a Final Round

| October 25, 2018

It'll be the last time they share a stage for a while: Ron DeSantis, left, and Andrew Gillum. (© FlaglerLive via WPBF)

It’ll be the last time they share a stage for a while: Ron DeSantis, left, and Andrew Gillum. (© FlaglerLive via WPBF)

The first question in Wednesday’s second and final debate between Florida gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis focused on the divisive nature of the country’s political discourse.


And the opening discussion laid the groundwork for an hour of jugular attacks, with the two men accusing each other of being dishonest and unworthy of leading the state before they exited the stage with a fist bump.

The initial question from moderator Todd McDermott of WPBF-TV came following the news earlier in the day that Democratic leaders — including the Clintons and the Obamas — had been sent pipe bombs.

Gillum, a Democrat who is the mayor of Tallahassee, accused DeSantis, a former congressman whose endorsement by President Donald Trump helped boost him to a Republican primary victory, of running “this race very, very close to the Trump handbook where we call each other names.”

Gillum blasted DeSantis for comments the Republican made the day after the Aug. 28 primary in which DeSantis warned supporters “not to monkey this up,” referring to state success, by electing Gillum.

But DeSantis lashed back by accusing Gillum of supporting the “radical” Dream Defenders group, which the Republican accused of attacking Israel.

“So you want to talk about division. It doesn’t get more divisive than the Dream Defenders,” he said.

That drew a swift rebuke from Gillum, who said DeSantis “lied 21 times” during a nationally televised debate Sunday night.

“And now today makes the 22nd, and we just started the debate,” Gillum said.

The hostile exchange, which came less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, set the tone for the entire debate at Broward College in Davie.

During one of the most explosive moments, DeSantis, who was on the attack throughout the night, lost his cool after being questioned by McDermott about the former congressman’s affiliation with conservative author David Horowitz.

“Are you going to play the McCarthy-ite game?” DeSantis interrupted McDermott.

McDermott persisted, saying Horowitz had questioned the oppression of black Americans because there is not an exodus of blacks from the country. DeSantis had praised Horowitz as someone who “shoots straight” and “tells the American people the truth,” McDermott pointed out, sparking an outburst from DeSantis, a former Navy lawyer.

“How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement everybody makes?” he exploded, saying that as a soldier in Iraq “we worked together as a team regardless of race.”

DeSantis said, as a prosecutor, he “stood up for victims of every race, color and creed” and will “represent all the people” as governor.

“Everyone will get a fair shake. But I’m not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness. I’m not going to let the media smear me,” he angrily continued.

DeSantis repeatedly hammered Gillum about recently released documents the Republican contended demonstrate that Gillum lied about who footed the bill for tickets to the smash Broadway hit, “Hamilton,” two years ago during a trip to New York.

The documents were released to the public this week by Christopher Kise, a lawyer representing Adam Corey, a Tallahassee lobbyist and entrepreneur at the heart of a federal corruption probe involving the city of Tallahassee.

Corey and Gillum were longtime friends whose global travels were part of the 150 pages of texts, emails and other documents released by Kise.

Gillum has steadfastly maintained he is innocent of any wrongdoing and has publicly severed ties with Corey. The documents show that Corey told Gillum the Hamilton tickets were provided by “Mike Miller,” an undercover FBI agent who also arranged a boat cruise for Corey, Gillum, and the mayor’s brother, Marcus.

Gillum has said he received the ticket for the wildly popular Broadway show from his brother, and that the Broadway tickets were swapped for a Jay-Z show.

“The problem I have is that I should have asked more questions … to ensure that everything was above board,” Gillum said Wednesday night.

The focus on the documents came as DeSantis tries to paint a picture of corruption around Gillum, a surprise victor in the August Democratic primary who has garnered national support as he tries to make history as the state’s first black governor and the first Democrat to capture the governor’s mansion in two decades.

“Andrew was getting things he shouldn’t have gotten, and they got a $2 million contract from the city of Tallahassee. That is what corruption is. When you get something you shouldn’t have had, and you give something to people who were trying to influence you. That is wrong, and he has not told the truth about any of that,” DeSantis said.

Another tense moment came when DeSantis said Gillum’s immigration proposals would allow convicted child molesters who are illegal immigrants to remain in the state.

“That child molester will reoffend, and someone’s son or daughter will end up paying the price,” DeSantis warned.

Gillum, who tried to maintain his cool but was visibly angered, said that “would never happen,” and blasted DeSantis for distorting his proposals.

When you are running for governor “the first thing you ought to have to do is level honestly with the people,” Gillum scolded.

“You’ve got ads on television that are completely false. … How can we expect you to be honest with the people of the state of Florida if not here on this stage?” Gillum asked, adding “you are disqualified, in my opinion, from the office for governor.”

“Andrew is the one who lied to people of Florida on Sunday night (during their earlier debate) about accepting a gift from an undercover FBI agent. He’s the one who lied about the Costa Rica luxury trip,” DeSantis shot back, referring to a heavily scrutinized trip Gillum took with Corey.

“Shame on you,” Gillum said, as DeSantis noted that the documents contradicted Gillum’s explanation about accepting a Broadway ticket from his brother.

“He’s just apologizing because he got caught. He not apologizing because he did anything wrong,” DeSantis said.

“Unfortunately, the theatrics are on full display,” Gillum responded. “Mr. DeSantis can calm down. We’re not going anywhere.”

The two also tangled about their how they would deal with pollution that has resulted in an outbreak of toxic algae affecting coastal communities in South Florida.

DeSantis said he has a “very strong environmental plan.”

“The water is our lifeblood. We have to protect the environment that Floridians enjoy,” he said.

The former congressman said he proved his leadership on the issue by challenging the sugar industry during the Republican primary.

“I am the only candidate who fought Big Sugar and lived to tell about it,” he said. “They came after me in my primary with millions and millions of dollars, attacking me in every which way.”

But Gillum questioned DeSantis’ environmental credentials, noting the Republican had a low rating from environmental groups while he was in Congress and has expressed doubts about global warming and climate change.

If Gillum is elected, the Democrat said Floridians would “have a governor who believes in science” and would “hold all the major polluters” accountable “so that we can get some real (environmental) standards back into this state and clean up this blue-green algae.”

–Lloyd Dunkleberger and Dara Kam, news Service of Florida

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

22 Responses for “All Insults Nearly All The Time As Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum Debate a Final Round”

  1. jake says:

    Gillum, a man under investigation, and caught lying on several occasions, resorts to using the race card to gain votes. This is exactly what this country, or the State of Florida, does not need. This type of leadership will result in years of increased taxes, poor government, and a step backward regarding the economy.

    If you want higher taxes, poor government leadership, and Obama-like regulations and economic stagnation, vote Gillum.

  2. Ramone says:

    The fact that Gillum is still in this race and has not stepped down is symptomatic of the perversion that has taken over our elected offices, both locally and nationwide. In the past, being investigated by the FBI for bribery and corruption would easily nix any chance of success. But today, as long as you play by your party’s playbook, you will get billionaires to fund your campaign and the voters will overlook your corruptive ways. Despite evidence to the contrary Gillum is lying and hoping the investigation doesn’t wrap up until after the election. If elected, there’s a real probability he may be arrested on multiple charges. Democrats would be wise to look very carefully at the Gillum’s Lt. Governor running mate, Chris King, who has a anti-Semitic background. That could be the next Governor if Gillum is elected.

  3. 101 says:

    Mr. Gillum you did a great job last night, I watched the whole debate. You acted professional, courteous, well versed on all subjects asked of you. It would make us all proud to have you as our Governor.

  4. JimBo says:

    DeSantis showed again how much he is like Trump. Lost his cool when asked a question about something he didn’t like. if he had let the moderator finish asking the question and calmly answer, it would have shown that he could handle the pressure situations when confronted. He also showed his lack of control with often times speaking over the moderator, speaking while during Gillums turn, and going over his allotted time a lot.

    Two weeks before election day he finally puts up his health care plan on his web site. Reading it does not coincide with his past voting in congress. With schools, look at how charter schools have gone in Flagler county. Only one really making it. My issue with charter schools is they don’t have to live up to the same standards as public schools like taking the FSA or providing all the extra state require programs that public schools do.

    DeSantis is a puppet and will hurt Florida if elected. Last night really showed his management style. Trump like…

  5. Fredrick says:

    Neither are good choices but Gillum is the worst of the two.

  6. Lou says:

    What we have seen, a well educated black man outsmarting an ideologically driven WHITE man.
    I am a “white” person by birth.
    Go ahead Mr. Mayor.

  7. PC Citizen says:

    Dr. Frehuan for Governor.

  8. mausborn says:

    Dems need to take notes from Gillum and take the fight to republicants. Stop being so timid. Desantis has to be the worst Florida Republican I every seen. Gillum completely ROASTED desantis. Made him look like he was completely out of his depths..which he was. DeSantis looks so out of his depth. He thought being ‘like Trump’ would be enough. Absolutely ZERO substance. None whatsoever. Sink this shifty eyed, nervous and sweaty clown!

  9. gmath55 says:

    Fedrick you are correct. Still a surprise that Andrew Gillum beat out Gwen Graham.

  10. hawkeye says:

    A vote for gillum is a vote to ruin florida!

  11. atilla says:

    Gullum is an Obama wanna be, full of lies and you owe me crap.

  12. Richard says:

    Democrats playbook – when they have no message that resonates with those Americans that have even a little common sense, their only course of action is play the race card, sex card, LBGT card, fear card, you “name it” card. Happens every 2-4 years. C’mon dems, your tactics are getting OLD!

  13. I Love the Poorly Educated says:

    “Gillum is the worst of the two” – Based on what?

  14. Dwayne says:

    Voting Red all the way, and very proud of it.

  15. Bill says:

    I Love the Poorly Educated says:
    October 26, 2018 at 9:13 am
    “Gillum is the worst of the two” – Based on what?

    Probably on the two guys running.

  16. palmcoaster says:

    Voting for Gillium, Nelson, Morley, D. McDonald, Gentile Youd, Howell, Tipton and School Board J. McDonald. I no longer vote the party but for the people that instead represent our values better:
    health care for all, preservation of our pristine environment without pollution that is killing our marine life, our workers right for decent paid jobs and benefits and education for our children among many other things.
    Preservation of SS, Medicare and Medicaid and the proper medical care and well deserve financial support of our veterans while and arriving back from wars. Stop frivolous spending of our hard earned taxes and address priorities first.

  17. mausborn says:

    MAGAbomber: Yet, we keep getting told, Kaepernick and kneeling NFL players, are the problem in America………………….ok. Shame on all of the Trump supporters blaming the left for this man’s actions. Just like you do with Trump you’re rationalizing this man’s actions against those with whom he disagrees. Wake up before it’s too late for all of us. We’re the UNITED States of America, g o d da m n it. Let’s start acting like it again. Meanwhile, Top story on Fox News: ‘Benghazi, the story behind the scenes’

  18. Alphonse Abonte says:

    Voting Red, enjoying the Dems Demise.

  19. Vote DeSantis says:

    DeSantis is a must….why is the Florida Ethics Commission withholding the outcome of their more than a year old investigation on Gillum????? This Commission should be disbanded….it is not operational for the benefit of us the people and it lacks transparency. There is a life long director and staff in place with no oversite and accountability!

    I am not a fan of DeSantis, but it is better than Scott and Gillum. I am sooooo glad to see Rick Scott leave FL. I hope Nelson kicks his ass!!!!! Yes, you can tell, I too don’t vote party—the beauty of being an NPA

  20. Tom Dooley says:

    like i said before; leave our borders open; eliminate the military; give our hard earned tax dollars to “illegals” eliminate ice; let antifa (aka wussies hiding behind mask’s) run our country;vote demo-crap!!! play the race card vote demo crap ask yourself are you better off now than you we’re under obama? i know i am my taxes are lower and my income higher and unemployment an all time low? demo craps have nothing to run on except the race card etc.VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!

  21. Sane person says:

    I stopped taking political pointers from the most outspoken voters when I’ve recently been made extremely aware of their unscrupulous process of vetting their candidates based solely on party. Especially with the constant flow of disinformation abound among the “leaning” media sources. Aside from Americans general lack of discipline to vet their candidates themselves properly, their decisions I feel are based on emotions. That is why I don’t take advise from anyone, and choose my candidate upon experience, message, and decorum. It’s never surprising who that ends up being, but it’s never the self proclaimed “outspoken majority.” Remember your personal values, everybody

  22. Optimist Prime says:

    I stopped taking political pointers from the most outspoken voters when I’ve recently been made extremely aware of their unscrupulous process of vetting their candidates based solely on party. Especially with the constant flow of disinformation abound among the “leaning” media sources. Aside from Americans general lack of discipline to vet their candidates themselves properly, their decisions I feel are based on emotions. That is why I don’t take advise from anyone, and choose my candidate upon experience, message, and decorum. It’s never surprising who that ends up being, but it’s never the self proclaimed “outspoken majority.” Remember your personal values, everybody

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

Get FlaglerLive Alerts by Email

Sign Up for email alerts to new stories.

ADVERTISEMENTS

suppert flaglerlive flagler live palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam florida
fcir florida center for investigative reporting
Advertisement
Log in | FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com