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
Alex Sink was wonderful!! Scott is a crook, re: Medicare fraud, he should NEVER be our governor!
John King told Alex Sink he'd give her time to reply to her opponent, came back from the last promo, and ignored his promise!
What kind of shit is that?
CNN is rapidly losing credibility in the past few weeks and John King is the latest liar!
Very disappointed in King's lack of ethics and fair-play!
CNN watching is over for me!
John King reeks! The whole debate on CNN stunk!
Sink was the clear winner in tonight's debate. Her candid mastery of the issues was in stark contrast to Scott's continued refusal to elaborate on his deposition and involvement in his company's HUGE Medicare fraud cases.
John King and Adam Smith were the worst two political analyist I have ever seen on National TV. Both were totally pandering to Rick Scott and did not give Alex Sink the fair response time as agreed. The people of Florida deserve better from CNN News. What were you thinking with not making the program equal to both candidates? This evening was not up to your previous standards. I cannot believe that you allowed this pregram to happen and continue.
John King/CNN, I don't think the People of Florida got much from your debate tonight. Little time was given for rebuttal to the many questions that originated with Mr. Scott and the commercial breaks were far too long. If one were to try to make a decision to vote based on your program tonight, there would be little information to go on.
All major newspapers in FL (conservative, liberal, and moderate alike) have endorsed Alex Sink for governor.
Rick Scott lies (again). Even Scott's own conservative Naples newspaper endorsed Alex Sink as the right choice for Florida.
Not a fair response.
Shame on you John King for NOT being an impartial interviewer and ganging up on Alex Sink with Rick Scott and the other guy. Frankly I think it will backfire as Ms. Sink held her own and SHE WAS POLITE. You 3 should be spanked and sent to bed without supper. Picking on a bright, intelligent and passionate woman shows just how well Ms. Sink is doing if you are that afraid that she will win. She earned my vote tonight! Grow up and be a REAL journalist or you will go the way of Connie Chung.
This is the worst 14 minutes of debate in terms of fairness that I have ever witnessed. Does CNN have an agenda here?
IWe were disappointed in this debate.. You seemed to favor Scott over Sink. We watch John King USA every day and have always thought you were fair and unbiased. Why did Scott get to answer first on almost every question and was allowed to cut off Sink when she tried to respond? Did you keep track of how much time each candidate used? It would be interesting to know how close the time was.
The only thing Scott is good for is that 1000 sheets of bum wad. The man is a blatant crook and deserves nothing from the good people of Florida. He's spent over $60 million of his own money to get his lying no-no, in this seat. Does anyone really believe he's not in it for the pot of gold at the end of the Florida rainbow? Are Floridians that ignorant? Geeze, I hope not. If this criminal gets in, I'm out of this state and many others will follow!
Nice liberal bias CNN.
Both candidates say this election is about jobs but neither one of them could obviously care less about jobs for the average worker because neither one of them know what the minimum wage is in the state that they are running for governor! Absolutely rediculous!
Vote Alex Sink on November 2nd! Rick Scott is absolutely a crook and yes, Mr. Scott, I deserve to know what that deposition was about and what you said in it. This man is ignorant and offensive.
Shame on you John King. You gave far more time to Scott than Sink. You chose Scott as first response so many more
times than Sink. She was left with a quick rebuttal and didn't get the same amt. of time as Scott. Couldn't really get an equal train of thought on both candidates. Should have done it the old fashioned way with a time buzzer that went off on both candidates. Should have flip flopped on who spoke first, that would have been the fair thing to do. Oh well, too late now.
Republicans will win Florida. Governor and Senate. Dems are running around everywhere in desperation coming to the realization the party is over. Obama won't have the power to kill jobs with his policies anymore. There will be investigation into Obama bribing Sestak. It's coming and it's way overdue. This is the first chance the voters give Obama his report card. It will be far worse than incomplete. Times are about to get better for the families who have had it hard since Reid, Pelosi, and Obama set out to destroy America.
I started watching the debate with much enthusiasm. My heart goes out to Floridians that they have to pick one of those two.
As a democrat, Alex Sink was incredibly disappointing in the debate. She lacked focus on the issues, failed to take advantage of clear openings to make her points, and resorted to little more than attacking Rick Scott. Oh and I'm still not sure how many newspapers have endorsed her. Just plain pathetic.
Sink is sunk! She didn't answer any of the questions, she just wanted to slam Scott. I wasn't sure who I was voting for but now I am. He at least answered the questions that they asked him. When they asked her if she wouldn't raise taxes all she said was she wouldn't raise taxes for small businesses. When they asked what she regretted she had no answer and that laugh..... it was so obvious that she was trying to distract people from what Scott was saying.
Good debate. I don't normally watch these but I thought they were treated fairly and without undo biased.
First, congratulations to John King who was the best political moderator in a long while. He erred a bit in allowing overruns but was great in conduct and questioning.
My vote: Scott by a long mile. Ms. Sink obfuscated, tried to turn the direction which was evasion and generally used whatever her handlers recommended in rehearsals. Scott was not great but we are looking for a leader. He is the one we seek.
Did you see how Scott was looking at Sink. It reminded me of Chevy Chase on SNL years ago. He was mocking her every comment. She deserves respect. What a creep Rick Scott is!!!
The moderating in this "debate" was terrible !!! The questions were all directed at Scott, and then Ms. Sink was asked how she felt about the same question.
Scott was allowed to go on and on, making accusations and on at least 2, maybe 3 occasions, Ms. Sink was asking for time to respond - and John King went to commercial. After the commercial, they went right on to something else, never giving her time to respond.
I found this particularly frustrating, being an Alex Sink supporter, but it was John King's lack of moderator skills that bothered me the most.
I support the efforts of CNN and its unbiased new delivery in the present day news market. I'm faithful watcher and reader of news stories by CNN. However, from what I saw from the moderators of the Florida Debate was completely one-sided and unfair. Throughout the entire debate Rick Scott the republican nominee, received the first opportunity to respond to every question. Whereas Alex Sink the democratic nominee didn't receive the same amount of time or opportunities to respond to her opponent throughout the debate. I hope in the future CNN correspondents will fairly moderate debates that they host. If CNN wants to continue with the claim that their the leading news source in the world that is unbiased, then must follow through with it. Tonights events surly doesn't compute to their claims.