Oct 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida governor debate: DeSantis won't answer 2024 taunts

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Charlie Crist during Monday night's debate. Screenshot: Sinclair

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) repeatedly refused to reply to former Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) at Monday's debate when asked whether he'd run for president in 2024.

Why it matters: Monday night was the only debate in the Florida governor race, considered a likely Republican win this midterms elections cycle by the Cook Political Report.

The big picture: As the moderator reminded the candidates, both campaigns had agreed to not ask each other questions.

What they're saying: "The only worn-out old donkey I'm looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist," DeSantis said in response to an attempt by Crist to pin him down on 2024.

Between the lines: The crowd often dominated the debate, with hecklers and boos and loud applause interrupting attempts to keep order.

  • “That needs to be the end of the applause," moderator Liz Quirantes asked the crowd early on. She was met with applause.
  • A heckler in the crowd yelled "liar" at least once during the debate during DeSantis' answers.

One note of unity: Both candidates strongly supported executing Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who murdered 17 people at Parkland high school.

  • Cruz was spared the death penalty because the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision.
  • DeSantis said Monday he'll ask the legislature to change the law.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct that Charlie Crist is a former Congress member, not a current one.

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