August 26th, 2010
04:06 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN to host 3-way Senate debate in Florida

 CNN and the St. Petersburg Times are partnering with the University of South Florida to present a live, nationally televised debate 10 days before voters choose a new U.S. senator to represent Florida.
CNN and the St. Petersburg Times are partnering with the University of South Florida to present a live, nationally televised debate 10 days before voters choose a new U.S. senator to represent Florida.

(CNN) – Ten days before Florida voters head to the polls to select a new U.S. senator, CNN and the St. Petersburg Times will partner with the University of South Florida to host a nationally televised debate in what could turn out to be the most exciting Senate contest in the country.

All three candidate have confirmed their intention to participate.

The October 24 debate will take place before a live audience and be moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent and anchor Candy Crowley during the network's Sunday morning program, "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." Beginning at 9 a.m. ET, CNN will air the hour-long debate among candidates Gov. Charlie Crist (I), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R) live from USF's Tampa campus. It will be rebroadcast at 12noon ET on CNN.

Rubio, the former Florida Speaker of the House, easily captured Tuesday's GOP Senate nomination. Meek, a four-term congressman from the southeast part of the state, captured the Democratic nomination by defeating billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene in their party's primary. Earlier this year Crist, a Republican, dropped his bid for the GOP nomination and announced he would run for the Senate as an independent candidate.

"Unfortunately, Florida is experiencing many of the hardships facing the nation. This forum will provide the candidates an opportunity to explain firsthand how their proposals will help turn things around," says Tom Bettag, senior executive producer of State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

"This fall's Senate debate continues our strong tradition of raising the political conversations and serving democracy. It serves our core mission of getting information to voters so they may make thoughtful decisions on Election Day," adds Neil Brown, Editor for the St. Petersburg Times.

"Eighty-five percent of registered on-campus USF students voted in the last presidential election. We are excited that our county, state and nation recognize the importance of young voters, and of this U.S. Senate race," says Cesar Hernandez, President of the University of South Florida Student Government.


Filed under: 2010 • CNN • Florida
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Go, Charlie, Go!

    August 26, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. skip

    Sarah Palin is corporate mouth piece at this point.. she could care less about working families... a typical shrill product of Fox News!!

    August 26, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. T'SAH from Virginia

    Hmm, I really look forward to this!! This is probably the most interesting race of all times between three Senator ‘wannaBees!! Three parties – one WINNER!!!

    I guess I will relax – over a cup of GREEN TEA – oops, I mean COFFEE – and enjoy this!! (Well I could have left it at GREEN tea because that is far from what the TEA PARTY represents!!!)

    August 26, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Hugo

    Charlie Crist gives an all new meaning to a 3-way... Oh no not that way you filthy minded .....liberal, although I thought it also, I mean is he posing as a Democrat, Republican or an Independent this week? Cut Government, down size the budget, deregulate, reduce taxation across the board! That is how you kick start an economy!

    August 26, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. water bearer

    I'll be watching! As a long-time progressive Democrat, let me tell you, if I lived in FL I'd be voting for Charlie!

    August 26, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Eric

    I honestly can't understand why any conservative would bother participating in a "debate" anymore.

    "Debates" have nothing to do with policy ideas or actual debate, and everything to do with snarky one-liners, soundbites, stupid time limits, manufactured "gotcha" moments, and always ALWAYS organized by the liberal media.

    If you are so stupid you actually need to have our current situation spoonfed to you in media-sized little bites, then you are too stupid to even vote.

    And even at best, if there actually IS debate (which is, well, "debatable"), you know nothing about the candidates, other than, which one is more slick with words and more polished in front of a camera... you know nothing about the person's policies or beliefs.

    If you want to compare and contrast candidates, ask yourself... am I better off now than the summer of 2006 before Democrats took over the congress? That's all the "debate" you'll need, and you should have your answer as to whom to vote for.

    If you want to have a REAL debate, turn the cameras on, get rid of the timer and liberal media moderator... get rid of the audience... set up two easy chairs... have the candidates openly speak with one another for several hours on A SINGLE TOPIC per debate... run the discussion/debates over several nights, again with one topic per debate. You'll learn a lot about who these people truly are.

    Anything short of that is an insult.

    August 26, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    I am a registered Independent........ and campaigned for Barack Obama.

    I will support Crist! The GOP did not want him? That's okay, we do!

    GO CRIST GO!

    August 26, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Gerry

    @ Eric – "And even at best, if there actually IS debate (which is, well, "debatable"), you know nothing about the candidates, other than, which one is more slick with words and more polished in front of a camera... you know nothing about the person's policies or beliefs."

    If you pay attention to a Debate, you learn about the person's policy or belief on the subject of debate. That's why they have debates. And the reason they have that 'stupid' time limit, is so one party doesn't monopolize the time so the other can't speak, which is how debates are usually done.

    August 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Barry

    Rubio is up by 10% in latest polls. He will probably win by 15%. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican this guy connects with people. He has a bright future moving forward. Crist was concerned of him and ducked out and ran as a Independent. That just allowed him to keep spending money. Meek is a great guy but he's out classed in this one. I wish that weren't the case because I am a Democrat and hate to see us lose this one.

    August 26, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Buster

    There will be two demorats in this debate and that would be crist and meek. Rubio will be the lone conservative. crist will sell his vote to nobama,botox pelosi and reid. Do not worry, he does not charge that much.

    August 26, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Sue

    Just remember when you go to vote in November.......and I do mean that everyone needs to get out and vote.....the republicans are counting on the democrats not coming out and voting......so make sure you vote......but remember too that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to take away Social Security, Medicare, and drop Federal Education programs and leave it up to the States, I don't know about your State but the State of Oklahoma couldn't afford it and I know many other States that are strapped and have cut education funding down to slim pickings......your worried about this debt that our kids and grandkids are facing, well they sure as hell won't be able to dig themselves out of this debt without better Education......tell the conservatives we don't want to go back to the Bush era........

    August 26, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Hugo August 26th, 2010 4:30 pm ET
    "Charlie Crist gives an all new meaning to a 3-way... Oh no not that way you filthy minded .....liberal, although I thought it also, I mean is he posing as a Democrat, Republican or an Independent this week? Cut Government, down size the budget, deregulate, reduce taxation across the board! That is how you kick start an economy!"

    We tried deregulation and tax cuts for 30 years. Look how great that turned out. the size of government and the budget wouldn't be a problem if the corporations and the rich weren't a bunch of tax dodgers. Moron. Have a nice day!

    P.S. Look at how well the recently imposed austerity measures are working in Greece. Yes sir, that really solved their economic woes.(Hint the U.S. media aren't reporting on it, you'll have to do a little research)

    August 26, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. greg in jax

    progressives for crist.. well, actually progressives against rubio.

    Rubio will Fail.

    August 26, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Marty, FL

    Go Crist!
    For the people, not the party. Americans could use more independent thinkers in our government.

    August 26, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. John E. from VA

    Why Rubio (R) would agree to participate in any debate at which CNN – with its firmly-established (including through peer-reviewed studies) liberal bias – escapes me. Fortunately, not even CNN can turn the tide against democrats in this election. Rubio just needs to show up, stay on message, and tell CNN where to put it if (nay when) CNN tries to pin him down.

    August 26, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |