CNN Chief National Correspondent John King co-hosts the CNN/St. Petersburg Times Florida gubernatorial debate on a special edition of "John King, USA" live at 7 p.m. EST. We'll be live blogging throughout the hour RIGHT HERE.
Follow our tweets of the debate: @CNNPolitics
Candidates in the race and on stage: Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott
7:02: Sink – You can't label me an "Obama liberal" VIDEO: Rick Scott: Obama's stimulus a disaster
7:04p : Scott – "I followed all the rules."
7:05p: Sink says there is nothing in her plan that calls for raising taxes. Tells Scott he is "reinventing history" VIDEO: Sink: Scott's reinventing history
7:08p : Sink to Scott: "You can't lecture me about fraud." VIDEO: Sink: You can't lecture me about fraud
7:09p : Scott – I am proud of the company I built
7:10p: Scott – I believe in legal immigration. ...If you're in our country illegally and get stopped by law enforcement, they should be able to ask if you are legal or not.
7:11p: Sink – Florida is not Arizona. I would increase the fines and penalties on businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants
Question: Scott, you say you want to run Florida like a business....you gave a deposition that involved fraud with one of your companies. You said you didn't read a letter that you signed. Is that how you would run the state?
7:17p: Scott – What you do as CEO is surround yourself by the smartest people. That's what I would do as governor as well. VIDEO: Scott answers questions about fraud case
7:19p: Scott- that's a legal issue that was settled. It has nothing to do with running for governor.
7:20p: Scott- the only reason we're having this discussion is because my opponent has no plan and she's attacked me on this issue
7:21p: Sink – I cannot sit here while Scott continues to tell lies about me
7:22p: Sink – He doesn't know a thing about me. He also doesn't know much about Florida. He hasn't been here long enough
7:22p: Scott to Sink – You are a failed fiscal watchdog
7:25p: Sink – If someone tells me to do something that is not legal, I'm not going to do it. I care about the people who work hard everyday.
7:27p: Sink – "I'm not going to be the kind of governor who puts profit over people like Rick Scott does."
Question: You both have said jobs are your number one priority. If a governor can do things to improve the economy, what didn't Gov. Crist do well? VIDEO: Scott to Sink: You broke the rules
7:32p: Scott – you have to create an environment that is good for business. Have to reduce regulation, focus on the size of government. Phase out the business tax. Charlie Crist and my opponent did none of those things.
7:32p: Sink- Let me clarify about who has been in charge in Tallahassee. It's been one party – Rick Scott's party. Tallahassee insiders. I've been a Tallahassee outsider.
Question: Would you pull the plug on high speed rail?
7:35p: Scott – if the federal government is going to fund all of it, lets look at it. Let's make sure we have all the money and look at what the real return is...You wouldn't build a building without knowing everything.
Question: Did you learn any lesson from the BP oil spill?
7:36p: Sink – We learned as Floridians that to approve drilling in Florida waters...would be a horrible idea....Accidents can happen. ...The other lesson is we saw how dependent we are on our tourist economy.
7:38p: Scott – What my opponent and Gov. Crist should have been doing is, they should have stayed down there until the problem was solved...
Question: What's your environmental plan?
7:39p: Scott- we need to do everything we possibly can...restore the Everglades...but the number one issue right now is to restore jobs.
7:40p: Sink – My opponent has said he would do away with the Dept. of Community Affairs. ...he would just hand Florida over to development to go wild.
Question: Do you support the new Nebraska abortion which defines the issue around when the fetus can feel pain?
7:46p: Scott – I am pro life with the exception of rape and danger to the mother. Yes I would support the law.
7:46p: Sink – No i wouldn't. I will uphold the law that we have in Florida currently.
7:48p: Sink – every single newspaper that has endorsed has endorsed my campaign.
Question: Do you think the Florida legislator has gone too far right?
7:48p: Sink – just this year, they passes a slush fund bill. Gov. Crist vetoed that bill rightfully so.
7:49p: Sink – this House should have passed an ethics package because we have so much corruption.
7:50p: Scott to Sink – "You've been in office for four years. You had your shot."
Question: Do you think homosexuality is immoral?
7:55p: Scott – I'm not going to judge people based on that.
Question – What's your biggest regret?
7:55p: Sink – that's hard for me to answer because I don't think about the past.
7:45p: Scott – I would have more kids
7:56p: - Both candidates get the minimum wage wrong. VIDEO: Scott and Sink get minimum wage wrong
Sink has yet to answer a question!!!
This debate is not very helpful. It's all about accusations and each candidate calling the other a liar. I want some clear cut answers on current issues!
btw, CNN – The sound in this debate is horrible. It's either echoing or the mic is not picking up the sound from someone quickly enough and I can't hear full statements or full questions!
I don't like either of these candidates. If I asked what color the sky was today, they wouldn't say it was blue, they would tell me why it wasn't every other color.
I am disappointed that you are allowing these two clowns to sit there and argue back and forth. They have said nothing in the last 30 minutes to tell the people of Florida what they will do.
The lack of candor from both candidates concerns me. When asked about prior business dealings (Scott) and professional history both candidates use camera cautious words not to admit a short coming. I would respect a candidate who acknowleges a mistake or a less than perfect outcome.
Stop the dirty politics and mud slinging and get to the point!!!!!!!! Jobs, mortgage and foreclosure mess, the shrinking middle class and taxes are what Floridians want to hear about!!!!! Almost sounds like they both should be in jail instead of public office!!!!
Alex Sink has admitted she has the support of a number of law enforcement agencies. How much is she indebted to give them a pay raise. Right now no one that I know has gotten a pay raise and yet she admits to advocate pay raises for state employees. Before doing that can the general public be aware of how much state employees get between salaries, benefits and pensions?
A former employee of Richard Scott, Mr. Jim White, often told me that Richard would walk in the back of one of his hospitals, and if he didn't like the way things were running, go up and replace managment. Would Mr. Scott care to comment. This seems like something we need in government.
Scott seems to be getting a lot of talk time.
This is sad that these two are all Florida has to offer for Governor. It won't be long till Florida is in a worse economical situation than California.
CNN is favoring Scott with time allotted and questions asked, cutting off Ms Sink when it's her turn. "Ladies first" get real sexism, CNN sucks out loud.
Scott was thrown out of the company he raided.
I can't believe that that my fellow Floridians would even consider to vote for the man that stole millions of dollars from tax-payers, from THEM! He had to pay 1.7 billion dollars for the scam! No one with brine would even consider to vote for him! He stole money from the government and now he will still them from Floridians! Wake up people! Don't make stupid decisions!
Florida Governor's Debate question:
Have either of the candidates considered job creation by the declaration of the State of Florida as an organic agriculture friendly state. It is always said that organic farming is more labor intensive..ie, we would need workers on organic farms.
And with the recent release of scientific studies from our own agriculture colleges and others, we know: up to 20% GREATER production by building the soil organically; overall increases of 15-25% in vitamins, anti-oxidants, FLAVOnoids for FLAVOr; up to 20% DECREASE in Carbon dioxide in the air by holding the carbon in the soil in humus layers...thereby helping DECREASE the Global warming trend, does it not make complete reasonable sense to up our Sunshine State's commitment to Organic Agriculture in a state that the Nation depends on?
We could shift money from Unemployment programs to Employment Programs...help for Organic Farmers who will take and train a new Organic Farm Worker.
I would like to see Rick Scott outline his seven step plan. And I would like to hear Alex Sink detail hers as well...on record both of them.
When did hosts become so seemingly biased? This debate appears to be quite slighted. It will be interesting to see how much time each candidate actually had to speak. Let the lady talk.
I a'm very sad for this state and our country as a whole!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A very, very weak display of leadership is on deck. When are we going to eliminate the acceptance of mediocre candidates??
govonors debate was unfair to Sink. you let Scott speak to much, he had no proof to backup talk. He is talking about things that may have happen 10 yrs ago
Can gambling revenues reduce debt. Is it time to revisit this revenue stream
Jon king and his sidekick are cutting off Sink but letting the repub talk as
much as he wants. It is like she is debating all three.,
Why don't they try to be fair, I know it is hard for them
Every first question goes to Scott and he talks endlessly and joh will give Sink 30 seconds to respond
Rick Scott is subject to hyperbole... he's not from florida...but he did defraud and destroy our hospitals...no person's of color live near him.. and why won't he disclose the real reason he pled the fifth ammendment 75 times?
Go Alex Sink! Florida needs balance in our government, not Medicare fraud Scott who will rubber stamp an out-of-control legislature. He speaks of "small government" nonsense when Scott will put his intrusive Big government into the very private lives of women and families, where government has no business.
And John King is unfortunately a horrible moderator, showing his glaring bias to the Scott. FL needs change, not Rick "more of the same" Scott and his Tallahassee insiders.
I agree with Mr. Scott's assessment of so many permits and regulations killing development. I live in Coral Gables and I witnessed a small storefront take 18 months to have rebuild at a ridiculous cost of 48,000.00. There was no regard to the needs of the small business owner nor the building owner in this. At the same time I remember the shoddy building practices that caused so much damage during Hurricane Andrew.
You are not being fair to Alex Sink. Everyone first question has been going to Scott and no one is interuptting him like you keep interupting Sink!! Let her talk!!!!
John King is one of the most competent and insightful news analyzers around, but his moderating of the "debate" between the Florida Governor candidates is shockingly sloppy. Any "debate rules" were largely ignored for the first part of the debate, and candidates were permitted to be interrupted by the other, with no constraints imposed on this. This was primarily done by Rick Scott. I would suggest a tally be done for the first 30 minutes to determine the total amount of time each candidate was permitted to speak, including the interruptions. It was clear to me Rick Scott had the floor disproportionately. Rick Scott was permitted the first question in a majority of the questions. After either candidate answered a question, the opponent, instead of being asked the same question, was asked either a different question or asked to respond to what the opponent just said. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy – a shockingly poor showing for CNN and John King.