Politics

How A Fan Stalled A Debate Between Candidates For Governor

Florida's gubernatorial debate got off to a rocky start after Governor Rick Scott refused to debate because opponent Charlie Crist was using a fan.

How A Fan Stalled A Debate Between Candidates For Governor
Vincent Lee / CC BY NC SA 2.0
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Fangate, noun: When a candidate for governor refuses to debate because his opponent has allegedly broken the rules by placing an electric fan under his podium. Yeah ... it happened.

ELIOTT RODRIQUEZ, WFOR: "Governor Crist has asked to have a small fan placed underneath his podium. ... For that reason, ladies and gentlemen, I am being told that Governor Scott will not join us for this debate."

Thus #fangate was born. Many were surprised by Scott's decision to sit out the debate ... and others shared their jokes. 

According to Florida Governor Rick Scott, the two candidates signed off on rules for the debate that specifically prohibited the use of fans. 

But Charlie Crist's Twitter account posted a link following the debate that appears to show a specific amendment permitting the use of a fan to "address any temperature issues."

If this parody Twitter account — created in 2009 — is any indication, Charlie Crist is known to carry a fan with him everywhere he goes. WPEC even reported on it back in 2010. 
“He travels with his fan just to make sure he doesn't look sweaty.”

And when Governor Scott was confronted about the delay, he gave an entirely different reason for refusing to come on stage. 
CHRIS SCOTT, WFOR"I waited until we figured out if he was going to show up ... He said he wasn't going to come to the debate, so why come out until he was ready?"

According to The Palm Beach Post, neither candidate made it to the stage precisely at the scheduled time of 7 p.m., but Crist was the first candidate to take the stage. 

Once it finally got going, the debate reportedly progressed as expected. The Los Angeles Times reports the candidates debated on typical issues: global warming, minimum wage and same-sex marriage.

It didn't take long for the Scott Campaign to respond to fangate, though. The Miami Herald shared the campaign's 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."

Florida's election to decide who becomes The Sunshine State's next governor will take place November 4, 2014.