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Charlie Crist 'not even thinking of' debating Nan Rich

@PatriciaMazzei @amysherman1

Charlie Crist told reporters outside a Fort Lauderdale fundraiser Tuesday that he has no plans to debate former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, the other candidate vying for the Democratic nomination for governor.

"I don't," Crist said in response to a question by a Miami Herald reporter.

When pressed by another reporter, he added, "I'm not even thinking about that right now, to be honest with you.

"I am focused on doing everything I can to help the people of Florida, and this is not really a race about candidates," he said.  "This is a race about the people of our state –- about teachers, about law enforcement officers, about firefighters. People that in my opinion have not been honored the way they deserve to be honored."

His answer was in contrast to Rich, who has repeatedly said voters should hear substance from candidates.

"I'm an issues person," she told the Herald in a phone interview. "I'm a policy person. To me, to have a dialogue and a debate back-and-forth about the issues is probably the most important thing that you can do to educate voters about where the candidates stand."

Broward College and Broward Days, a legislative advocacy group, had reached out to Rich and Crist to invite them to debate in the state's bluest county. Rich told organizers she'd be open to it; Crist's camp hasn't gotten back to them.

Looks like they shouldn't hold their breath. And that would do a disservice to voters -- and not just Democratic ones. Crist is a former Republican governor-turned-independent, and many in his new party remain skeptical about his political convictions (or lack thereof).

Floridians as a whole would lose out on a substantive debate on the issues facing the country's fourth-largest state. And the eventual nominee would miss out on practice before facing Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the general election.

Comments

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Joe Kreps

I have been looking forward to meeting and hearing Charlie Crist debate the issues and solutions to 15 years of tyranny from Republican governors with Nan Rich. Unfortunately he continues to run and hide. Therefore I propose that the media does its job and refer to Crist as Chicken Charlie until he agrees to debate Nan Rich. Hey Chicken Charlie lead or get out of the way.

Melody A. Heilmann

I agree with Joe Kreps. How will Florida voters know who is the best candidate to put up against Gov Rick Scott? I want a debate between Charlie Crist & Nan Rich & believe me, this will be a problem for Mr. Crist if he doesn't agree to a debate. There are many others who want this debate!

Diana Hatsis

What is Mr. Crist afraid of anyway? If he debates Nan Rich then he either has to truthfully debate his position on issues important to Floridians or he has to run from his prior positions. Either way he's got some explaining to do!

Joe Snodgrass

Politics are not about secrecy but transparency. Scott will find out whatever he wants about either candidate's campaign plans, so why not share it now. The waiting for Mr. Christ to declare, the continuous grandstanding, the great concern suddenly for the constituents, the attitude of many who think he is the only one that can raise enough money to beat Scott, quite frankly this is just too melodramatic, oh excuse me, that's exactly how to take away from all the issues voters want to hear about. Charlie Crist can not beat Rick Scott, they are two peas in a pod and furthermore this election can not be bought. So find an event, like the Clean Water Rally in Fort Myers Feb 1, 2014 and listen to and ask the candidates questions, because there is not going to be any debate between Charlie and Senator Rich.

Ed Jenkins

The democrat primary voters greatly despise this horrible choice of the scumbag crist and request a new choice from the florida democrat party. Of course we have the choice of the nancy lady and this democrat primary voter will probably select that one if no other choice is given but a party that has not won the governor's race in nearly 20 years should find other options if it wants to win a general election that the most despised former governor scumbag crist who is damaged goods.

StPete

Nan is a good progressive and a talented politician, but she doesn't have an ice cube's chance in hell of winning the Governor's race in Florida. And all the amateurish bitching and moaning from the vocal few who spew the sorts of poison we see in comments here won't change that.
In fact, with all the ugliness, I wonder about the sincerity of some of these Charlie haters. Does anyone know them? Are they really progressive Democrats, or just GOP agents provocateur trying to poison the water?

Sammi

I voted for Crist the last time and find him disgusting and will not ever support him again. He won't debate because he lacks substance and commitment. He's a phony and only cares about himself. Anyone is better than him

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