JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) — It was a heated and personal debate on Tuesday evening at the third and final debate between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist.
The two spent their final debate of the campaign sharply criticizing each over everything from the economy and the minimum wage to the death penalty.
The debate was the last of three held in the past few weeks. It was also the most heated, including some of the most personal attacks in what has been a harshly negative campaign.
“Charlie, you’re a divider!” said Scott at one point. “You are a mudslinger!”
Later in the debate, talking about Scott’s wealth, Crist said, “God bless you for that wealth, Rick, but the way you got it was pretty unsavory.”
Scott contended that Crist grew up rich and doesn’t understand the struggles of poor people.
“First off Charlie, you grew up with money,” Scott said. “ I grew up with families that struggled. I don’t know my natural father. I lived in public housing.”
Crist fired back, saying Scott, a multimillionaire, didn’t care about the middle class and spent all his time in a private jet.
“If you’re somebody who flies around in a private jet and you live on a mansion on the sea, it’s hard to understand what people are suffering from,” Crist said.
During the debate, Crist, who was a Republican when he served as Florida’s governor , also had to defend his switch. Crist said the Republican leadership has gone too far to the right and is no longer consistent with his beliefs.
But Scott said Crist can’t be trusted and will say whatever he thinks will score political points. He said Crist has taken inconsistent positions on taxes, education and abortion.
Crist, in turn, claimed voters can’t believe anything Scott says. He pointed out that Scott ran a hospital chain that paid $1.7 billion in fines for Medicaid fraud.
The debate also featured questions about Cuba, immigration, and whether ex-convicts deserve voting rights after they are released from prison.
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