Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) refused to take the stage for several minutes at a gubernatorial debate in Davie, Fla., tonight because his opponent Democrat Charlie Crist wanted a small fan placed under his podium in order to stay cool under the hot lights of the televised event.
"Ladies and gentleman, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now," said moderator Eliott Rodriguez, noted The Tampa Bay Times (video below).
Rodriguez made the announcement of Gov. Scott's refusal to debate at Broward College, which was met with boos.
"Are we really going to debate about a fan?" stated Crist. "Or are we going to talk about education, and the environment and the future of our state?"
That statement with was met by supporters of Gov. Scott shouting, "Follow the rules!"
Gov. Scott, who has openly opposed raising the state's minimum wage, eventually took the stage and tried to attack Crist's former tenure as governor 2007-2011.
"Charlie is the zero-wage governor, 832,000 people went from wages to zero wages when he was governor," stated Gov. Scott.
"Rick, there you go again. Trying to blame the global economic meltdown on me," Crist fired back. "You just can't trust Rick. It's sad and it's unfortunate."
During the debate, Crist expressed his support for same-sex marriage and expanding Medicaid coverage to more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians via Obamacare. Gov. Scott opposes both.
When asked about the fan, Gov. Scott suggested he thought Crist might not show up, even though he was the one who initially refused to walk on stage.
Kevin Cate, a Crist adviser, later posted a picture of the debate rules that Crist signed on Twitter. The rules do allow for a fan if needed.
According to The Washington Post, Gov. Scott's campaign manager Melissa Sellers issued a statement: "Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave, and toaster to debates - none of that will cover up how sad his record as governor was compared to the success of Rick Scott. Crist should buy a fan for the 832,000 Floridians who lost their jobs while he was governor.”
"When I hear a politician say that we have to raise the minimum wage so working families can make ends meet, I cringe, because I know that statement is a lie," Gov. Scott told The Tampa Bay Times in Jan. "Even if we did raise the minimum wage, working families will still not be able to make ends meet on those jobs. We need good jobs that lead to good careers for our families and that's what I am focused on."