Gov. Rick Scott appeared on Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room
Thursday and was asked about the single most important thing in politics in Florida today -- the fan.
The news organization led its politics page with a story and headline that read: Florida Gov. Rick Scott stalls debate over opponent's fan.
Here's the transcript from CNN:
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And the Florida governor, Rick Scott, is here in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. He's joining us.
Governor, thanks very much for joining us.
All this over a fan. I guess the key question, what were you thinking?
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Hard to believe, isn't it? I was anxious to get out there. I wanted to talk -- you know, we did a debate last weekend. He didn't like talking about 832,000 jobs lost. So I think he was just -- he was just worried he was going to sweat. I'm surprised he just didn't bring some dry ice with him or something to keep himself cool, because he worried so much when I keep -- kept bringing up that he'd lost 832,000 jobs. But we -- I came out and we did the debate. He -- you know, he didn't want to talk about jobs. We talked about jobs and education.
You know what's too bad -- ?
BLITZER: Let me interrupt. Quick question on the fan.
What's the big deal?
Why wouldn’t you let him -- if he needs a fan, what's the big deal? Let him have a fan.
Why was this even an issue going into the debate between your staff and his staff?
SCOTT: I have no idea. I was sitting in the back. I was told he wasn't going to show up, and so I was sitting back there waiting for them to tell us to come out.
And they didn't tell us to come out. And then he went out there. So we came out --
BLITZER: He does have a long history of requesting that a fan be there for whatever reason. And in that document that the Florida gubernatorial debate put out, it explains all the rules.
But he wrote -- or somebody wrote that there can be no fan with the understanding that the debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan, if necessary. So that was clearly written into this document, which I'm sure you've seen.
SCOTT: No, I haven't seen the document. I mean, I was out there to talk about jobs. We've added 643,000 jobs. But I was waiting to go on. I was anxious to go on.
BLITZER: So who told you not to go out there?
SCOTT: The organizers. They said that he wasn't going to show up. He was balking without his fan. So I didn't even know he was going to have a fan.
BLITZER: So he had a fan. So eventually you went out and the fan was operating, I guess, throughout the debate, right?
SCOTT: Yes, I didn't see it.
BLITZER: So it was not -- it was not a factor after that.
But are you surprised by all this commotion over a fan?
What's been --
SCOTT: It was too bad. This debate ought to be about jobs, ought to be about education. That's what Floridians care about, the -- what's the future going to be like?
So it's too bad they're talking about fans. But look, I'm out on the campaign trail every day, talking about how we've added 643,000 jobs. We have 261,000 job openings. We have a record funding for K-12 education, state colleges, universities.
That's what I talk about every day. So but it's sort of -- you know, remember last time I did the CNN debate, my opponent cheated during the debate. So hopefully nothing will happen next Tuesday when we do the CNN debate.
BLITZER: There's going to be another debate. I take it there won't be a fan for him at that debate, is that your understanding?
SCOTT: You know, I don't care if he brings a microwave, if he brings a humidifier, whatever he wants to bring, if it makes him feel better, he ought to bring his microwave, humidifier, toaster, whatever he wants.
BLITZER: CNN rules are no fan. So I guess, unless -- he won't show up without the fan, but I've been told definitively by CNN, no fan at that debatenext Tuesday night, 7:00 pm --
SCOTT: We'll see what happens. I hope we talk about jobs and education.
BLITZER: So anything you -- if you had a do-over, what would you have done differently?
Because the criticism of you is you refused to debate the guy because he had a fan.
SCOTT: I never did. I was waiting -- I was -- I was told he wasn't going to -- he wasn’t going to come out. He wasn't going to do the debate.
BLITZER: Well, once he's out there on the stage, you knew he was on the stage.
SCOTT: No. No. No, we -- because they had us in -- well, at least they had me -- I was in a trailer just waiting to go out.
BLITZER: And so who said to you, wait? The staff?
SCOTT: Yes, the whole team, they said just wait until we're ready to take you out.
BLITZER: And the staff said the organizers didn't want you to go out there? Is that what --
SCOTT: Yes, because --
BLITZER: The moderators, they were all stunned.
SCOTT: Because what -- the others I've done, you walk out at the same time. So and that's why I think they were trying to organize.
BLITZER: So are you alleging that Chris broke the rules?
SCOTT: Look, I just want to do a debate, I wanted to talk about jobs and education. I don't know why he did what he did. But I'm, look, I think it's crazy that that's what they're talking about. We ought to talk about jobs and education. I don't care if he has --
BLITZER: You don't want to make that flat accusation that he actually broke the rules of the debate?
SCOTT: Well, he clearly broke the rules, but that's not the point. The point is we should talk about jobs and education, what people care about in their state. That's why I got elected the first time.
BLITZER: Because he says he didn't break the rules because he saw this little addendum that was handwritten on this agreement.
SCOTT: No, I don't know.
BLITZER: So you don't buy that?