Rick Scott refers to Andrew Gillum as Andrew Gillum again in fiery debate

Rick Scott tried the now-familiar line of attack in a stark state to campaign for statewide office that he’s doing a poor job as governor, according to the harsh words that emerged from last night’s debate.

The Republican governor on Wednesday repeated a familiar line of attack against his opponent, Democrat Andrew Gillum, accusing him of not having delivered on key reforms he had promised to deliver by his second anniversary.

And Gov. Ron DeSantis seemed to echo that line when he said: “In just two years, four major legislative sessions, 2,000 appointments across the state, that’s eight different initiatives in 32 months. The list just keeps getting longer and longer and longer.”

He contrasted that to what Gillum described as the governor’s deep commitment to free college, his call for universal pre-K, the “commonsense protections” of auto insurance rates.

Here are a few of the chief differences:

Scott pointed to charter schools as having been ineffective and said they have a weak record on teacher performance.

Gillum called for more charter schools and expanded students’ involvement in the school building program that might give them a shot at transferring to higher performance schools.

Both men said they were most proud of trying to address the sanctuary city ordinance and supporting voting rights, among others.

Scott revealed that while he was at Goldman Sachs on a state consulting job in 2001 when he was blasted in the media for racy tweets sent while he was governor, he never resigned.

DeSantis – the former congressman who was elected in November – said he did not know Scott or even met him while he was in Washington D.C.

The candidates appeared to have little to say in response to a moderator’s question about what they thought of the president.

On a lighter note, Gillum, a Democrat and Tallahassee mayor, compared the GOP attack on the universal health care law “Obamacare” to 1950s censorship.

The transcript provided to the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald reads:

“OK, you’re not getting Obamacare to privatize our healthcare anymore – we understand – and we understand. We know the American people are tired of Obamacare, and my opponent wants to repeal it, which means it’s going to repeal itself. It’s going to put that healthcare right back out of the hands of the American people.

“I guess what I want to know, Andrew, is if we go back to a single-payer healthcare system, you’re going to prohibit people from taking insurance with a doctor they like, with a plan that fits their needs? We made a mistake at the last time with the Affordable Care Act. So I’m going to stand up, too, for what we did under Obamacare but want to continue to improve it.”

The Times and Herald both had the debate-related debate transcripts in their paper Wednesday.


Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Attorney General Keith Ellison square off in a lively debate

Facing off on issues like sexual harassment and healthcare, Sen. Amy Klobuchar hosted an evenly-matched debate with her rival, Attorney General Keith Ellison, at a hotel in Minneapolis on Tuesday night.

A moderator from KTSP-TV asked the crowd to raise their hand if they were familiar with the two candidates’ platforms and aligned closely with the party platforms. Klobuchar raised her hand, while Ellison gave his when pressed by the moderator to do so. After each candidate answered, the crowd showed its appreciation with applause.

Klobuchar stated that, as a woman, she believes “we’re held to a higher standard,” and that Minnesota needs a leader who will make policies that work for all Minnesotans.

She added that the “economy is no longer the dominant issue,” and talked about the importance of women’s healthcare, such as childbirth and pre-natal care.

Ellison reiterated that women want to work but don’t want to be burdened by child care and balancing family and work, and that it is important to find ways to include people from different backgrounds, such as working mothers.

Echoing past conversations at the debate, Ellison gave numerous examples of things he has done to empower women, such as signing an executive order with the goal of protecting women’s access to safe, healthy food at large food sellers.

Echoing Ellison’s remarks about women’s health, Klobuchar talked about expanding access to preventive care, including free, 24-hour cancer screenings, and making it easier for mothers to get back to work after delivering their babies.

Both candidates emphasized a need for greater community engagement, specifically bringing more people into the political process. Ellison stated, “We need to engage people to the left and right,” while Klobuchar joked, “We’re sitting right there, and you know what I think that’s doing?”

Klobuchar then attempted to appeal to her audience by saying, “I’m not a token here; I don’t just know everybody else’s name. I work here.”

After both candidates answered their questions, the audience gave them an enthusiastic cheer, and the moderators gave them each a B. Each candidate gave a pointed reply to the audience, and seemed to know which areas they should be focusing on the next several weeks until Election Day.