“A hit dog will holler.”
“I don’t think you’re a racist, but the racists think you’re a racist.”
Those were some of the memorable lines from the 2018 Florida gubernatorial debate between then congressman, Ron DeSantis, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
DeSantis got “outcooled” that night, and worked a low scoring debate into a draw.
Luckily for him, “cool” doesn’t translate into votes and he beat Gillum that year. The former Tally mayor would get rolled in scandal a short time later and the rest is history.
But for DeSantis, who is running two races at the same time, a reelection campaign for governor, and a 2024 GOP presidential primary, the optics of a debate against his current opponent, Charlie Crist will matter. This is why we’re hearing all of this mixed noise over where and when a debate would happen before the “wheel finally landed” on October 12th.
But Governor needs to ensure he’s got the right environment. Because he’s going to get asked to pledge he’ll serve a four year term.
And when you want to be President in two years, you can’t do that.
I think DeSantis could defeat Charlie in a debate with little trouble. I’ve moderated a forum with the governor and an opponent in his days in congress.
Charlie got beat by Marco Rubio on a couple of occasions in the 2010 senate race, including on Meet the Press.
Charlie had “fangate” against Rick Scott, and the two still worked to a draw.
And finally, I think Nikki Fried beat Charlie Crist in their primary debate, but by that time the voters didn’t care and he had already won.
This is about Ron DeSantis and the other race he’s running. The one to be president.