One of the Weirdest Debate Moments Ever Happened Last Night in Florida
The Florida governors' debate Wednesday night was one of the most bizarre in recent memory. And it wasn't even because of something the candidates said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) refused to come on stage for the debate for the first four minutes of the broadcast. His reason? A fan. Yep, that's right — a fan.
The incident was patently ridiculous, and a perfect illustration of the petty nature that pervades politics these days. The four minutes candidates spent pouting over a fan could've been spent talking about the state's budget, jobs, or, heck, even Ebola. But the gubernatorial candidates' initial standoff centered on an electric fan.
"Ladies and gentleman, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now," said moderator Eliott Rodriguez, as Scott's podium remained empty.
The audience sat waiting and Scott's opponent, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D), was on stage and ready to go. But Scott stood his ground.
Check out the video to watch the incident as it unfolded. With something this absurd, you have to see it to believe it:
Crist had a small electric fan placed underneath his podium, a request he commonly makes for public appearances. Scott saw this as a violation of the rules that the two campaigns had agreed to beforehand.
The standoff didn't last long, as Scott got onstage after a few minutes. Crist kept his fan.
The incident quickly spread to Twitter, even earning its own hashtag: #fangate.
Near the end of the debate, a moderator asked Crist about his decision to use a fan. He responded, "Why not? Is there anything wrong with being comfortable? I don't think there is." Can't argue with that!
And although Scott and his team finally relented in the fan standoff, the campaign's response to the incident was still sassy.
"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," Scott's campaign manager, Melissa Sellers, told the Washington Post. "Crist should buy a fan for the 832,000 Floridians who lost their jobs while he was governor."
This post has been updated.