One of the more intriguing questions of the night was whether DeSantis, a potential GOP nominee for the presidential race in 2024, would serve a full term as a governor if reelected.
“Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of Florida and say to them, if you’re reelected you will serve a full four-year term as governor. Yes or no,” Crist, who once governed Florida as a Republican, asked. “Yes or no, Ron?”
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After hesitating for a few seconds, DeSantis fired back without explicitly answering if he would serve a full term.
“I know that Charlie is itching to talk about 2024 and Joe Biden,” the governor said. “But I just want to make things very, very clear: The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
DeSantis, who is ahead in this year’s race, tried to tie Crist to Joe Biden, leveraging on the president’s low approval rate.
“Charlie Crist has voted with Joe Biden 100 percent of the time to give us these inflationary policies and to drive up the costs of everything that we’re doing,” the governor said.
Both candidates also clashed about abortion. DeSantis accused Crist of defending the procedure “up until the moment of birth,” which has never been legal in any state except in the event of protecting the mother’s life.
In June, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the governor signed a 15-week abortion ban, with no exception to rape or incest. He later suspended a prosecutor who refused to comply with the new law.
The debate was initially scheduled for October 12, but was postponed due to Hurricane Ian.
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