October 25th, 2010
07:01 PM ET
12 years ago

LIVE BLOG from the Florida Governor's debate

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


Filed under: 2010 • Alex Sink • Florida • JKUSA • Rick Scott
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Lawrence

    This debate was horiible from the hosts and the venue.The entire debate appeared onesided and did not provide Sink with the same opportunities to answer questions. I was very suprised at how Mr. King did not afford Mrs. Sink the same opportunity to respond to questions like Scott. Mrs. Sink appeared to be under attack throughout the entire debate. I am an avid supporter of CNN, however this was the worst job I seen in a long time from an CNN anyalst. I HOPE this is not the future of the what is to come from the CNN network.

    October 25, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. skyla ballard

    As a current Floridian, I would of liked to hear MORE about what the candidates had in store for our state and LESS of the slanders and finger pointing. I feel like not only the debates but all the campaign ads have taken rivalry to a sour level. I would highly suggest the candidates focus more on telling the people of Florida more about what they have in store for our state and less of how much they don't TRUST each other.

    October 25, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. CindyFLVoter

    Rick Scott , I am so glad that you were able to walk away with 300 million bucks shoved in your pockets after your fradulent busines ripped off taxpayers...I see you are putting those illbegotten gains to good use, and trying to buy your slef a governership..Well buddy...you may do it! It is evident in politcs now a days that dirty money spends just as well as clean, but I wanted YOU to know, you did not fool me, and you will NEVER have my vote.

    October 25, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Jeff

    You have to be pretty stupid to vote for Scott. He is one of two things either he is a liar and knew about the fraud in his companies or he was a terrible CEO that didn't know what was going on in his own companies – either way he isn't fit to be governor.

    October 25, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. Karen Baker

    I listened and thought that John Kingwas very biased against Alex Sink. I have always considered John to be fair, however in this debate he was very clearly biased in favor of the Republican Rick Scott. I think if you are interviewing that you should be fair and unbiased. What has happened to presenting both sides?

    October 25, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Laura Whiteside

    Well, it hasn't gotten any better. What is John King doing? He gives the floor to Scott and gives Alex little chance to get anything out of her mouth. He asks accusatory questions and interrupts her.

    October 25, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. George Menold

    The Florida Governor's debate at 7:00 EST had the most advertising breaks I have ever seen. It must have been at least 50%.

    October 25, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Carletha E. Griffin, Business Owner

    The debate held tonight against Candidates for Governor Alex Sink and Rick Scott was quite interesting. However, I was quite surprise as I sat and watch that John King would allow Rick Scott to answer just about every question first without even considering Alex Sink could answer some of those questions first until the near end. Does Mr. King have a problem with a female in a position of power? I hope not because if he does, he needs to reconsider how it looked tonight regarding the "Gender Factor". Since Mr. Scott is not from Florida and have not been honest with the Florida Voters, he really should not expect to win this election. Ms. Sink has the political support of the Floridians, our law enforcement, teachers, business owners and the citizens of the State of Florida and we will VOTE Ms. Sink in to be the next and first female Governor of the State of Florida.

    October 25, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. Dave C

    Scott needs to be in prison, not running for Florida Governor. He may be 'focused', but still a criminal.

    October 25, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Dania

    John King did a poor job as a moderator for this debate. He was not unbiased and fair as he generally is. Let me explain, at the end of the debate King did not give adequate time to Alex Sink to refute the allegations hurdled at her by Rick Scott although he claimed he would. When she attempted to answer, he said, (paraphrase) "you can run that in an ad".!!!! That was out of line for a moderator. It was condescending. Aside from the lack of time given it was apparent he was leaning toward Rick Scott. John King has been a favorite commentator and I value his analysis but his creditability has come into question. I hope he will improve and not be disrespectful in the future. It is disappointing; CNN should address this matter with John King.

    October 25, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Pedro Santiago

    I am from Florida, this debate was boring like hell, are there any more qualified candidates out there?

    October 25, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. Phyllis Hoines

    John King needs to view the tape of this program. Questions were first directed to Rick Scott most of the time. At one point I counted 6 times to one directed to Alex Sink. Alex Sink continually asked for equal time and was told she would have it following the commercial. Not once was she given the chance to do so. She was interupted by Rick Scott and the moderator from the St. Pete Times many times. John King should have stopped them and given her a chance to respond.

    October 25, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. hutto

    Why did they not allow a rebuttal from Rick Scott's assertion she allowed the pensions to go under. Those in the know, know this is the FRS system, which is in affect, the State workers retirement plan. How long does this lie have to go on. We know the Republicans don't care about stateworkers, but we do care that they use it lie to the american people. Do a little research CNN.

    October 25, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Elizabeth A Maldonado

    Tonight Florida had the wonderful opportunity to see how much trouble our state really is in. If Alex Sink and Rick Scott are all we have to choose from for Govenor, we need to need to learn how to swim on slick land as well as water.

    October 25, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |

    I'm watching the FL governor debate. This is the WORST job of moderating a debate I've ever seen. Alex Sink has been cut off and not allowed to respond time and time again. Rick Scott doesn't answer the questiosn asked, but is allowed to respond to previous questions without the moderator bringing him to task. This is absoslutely horrendous and unfair. You should never be allowed to moderate a debate ever again.

    October 25, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. Sally Ann Wilson

    I just finished watching the debate between Alex Sink and Rick Scott. I am a registered Republican and a Florida resident. I thought your "debate" was terribly biased in favor of Rick Scott. Not only was he allowed more time but, your moderators were rude and condescending to Ms. Sink. I WILL be voting for Alex Sink. Rick Scott is a shady, slimy individual. I feel like I need to take a shower after listening to him. I thought you (CNN) would be more fair in comparison to other cable news networks that are obviously right or left leaning. Shame on you.

    October 25, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. S

    CNN John King...such a horrible job.

    October 25, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. Name

    God be with us this election... VOTE For Alex Sink and keep Scott and his LIES out of our Lives!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. Patti

    Poorly hosted Gubernatorial Debate; giving most of the time and positioning the questions for Rick Scott and not forcing both participants to answer the original questions. I was hoping to gain more insight; instead it was a re-run of the previous debates that were aired this fall; waste of my time!

    October 25, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. Name

    Sure seems like John King was favoring Scott and the republican agenda. This was not a fair debate, though I believe Alex Sink will be the next gov because we Floridians are not stupid.

    October 25, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. Belle Wade

    I am ashamed of the way Ms. Sink was treated by John King! John King constantly showed favoritism to the male candidate and showed unfair treatment in cutting her off and always following up and calling on her last! It was the most preferentially unfair questing I have ever seen in politics in my life! I am 60 years old and this show was a male dominated slam. What happened to fair interviews?

    October 25, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Billee Bussard

    The Sink-Scott "debate" was perhaps the worst moderation of an important political contest that I have ever seen in my 65 years. And I say this as one who worked over 25 years as a journalist, including a health care and political reporter. John King allowed Rick Scott to run all over the place and evade very important questions. And you would think from the way questons were framed that Sink was the one who bilked a billion plus through Medicare and Medicaid fraud from taxpayers. When it comes to integrity, Scott can't hold a candle to Alex Sink, but CNN's questions seemed geared to making this contest look like a choice between two evils. Shame on CNN. This debate is yet another reason to tune out. Not even fiesty Jack Cafferty can compensate for the ongoing series of stupid mistakes in the operation of and changes made in the CNN newsroom content and operations of your station. Problem is the alternative is FOX.

    October 25, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Anitasmiles

    There is nothing to debate, the Democrats made special deals to pass the Obamaturkeycare. All the Democrats voted for the Obamaturkeycare...which means his socialized healtcare plan is stuffed with hidden taxes. It's estimated that the bill will cost $ 1 trillion to $ 3.5 trillion over the next 10 years. To top that off, the bill will not even take effect until 2014. Why do people deliberately want to stay blinded to the fact that they were lied to by Obama and the Democrats that said there will be change. Something has changed alright, the deception and deceit by Democrats buying vots for special deals and other promises is right down shameful....

    October 25, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. Lynne in Florida

    It was shocking to see John King and the reporter from Tampa in the moderating of the Govenor's debate in Florida. They consistently interrupted Alex Sink and showed favoritism to Rick Scott in cutting to commercials and not allowing Alex Sink the opportunity to defend herself from personal attacks. It would be interesting to see a ver batim transcript to see how much extra time Rick Scott was actually given. If someone checked this I feel your network would be ashamed. The Tampa reporter was rude and unkind. The viewer's in my household came away from this debate discussing the bias displayed by the moderator's more than the issues. CNN, I thought you were better than this! Almost thought I tuned into FOX.

    October 25, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Anitasmiles

    There is nothing to debate, the Democrats made special deals to pass the Obamaturkeycare. All the Democrats voted for the Obamaturkeycare...which means his socialized healthcare plan is stuffed with hidden taxes. It's estimated that the bill will cost $ 1 trillion to $ 3.5 trillion over the next 10 years. To top that off, the bill will not even take effect until 2014. Why do people deliberately want to stay blinded to the fact that they were lied to by Obama and the Democrats that said there will be change. Something has changed alright, the deception and deceit by Democrats buying vots for special deals and other promises is right down shameful....

    October 25, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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