Charlie Crist says no debates, Nan Rich asks again

Sun Sentinel

Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich has renewed her call for her primary opponent Charlie Crist to debate, even though he’s repeatedly said he has no intention of doing so.

Rich, the former Florida Senate Democratic leader from Weston, said Tuesday she’s accepted an invitation from the Florida Society of News Editors and the Florida Press Association to appear at a July 10 candidate forum co-hosted by the two organizations. She also said she wants a series of debates.

“Florida voters deserve to hear directly from the candidates, at the same time on the same stage,” Rich said in a statement. “I’m happy to present my record, my core principles, and my vision for the future. I hope Charlie Crist is as well.

“Open debate is vital to Democracy, and Democratic voters are entitled to hear a vigorous exchange of ideas in the primary,” Rich said. “These two credible and independent organizations are providing a venue for that exchange and I am very much looking forward to participating.”

Crist, who is far ahead of Rich in polling and money, has made clear that he won’t debate her – a standard tactic for people far ahead in election contests.

On Saturday, appearing in Plantation, reporters asked Crist if he’d he’d change his mind and debate her.

“No,” was his answer.

Pressed, he said: “I’m focused on Rick Scott. I mean it’s so important that we defeat this guy and that somebody get in the office that cares about people as Omar [Kahn, his campaign manager] was saying earlier. Listen, if I spent any energy doing anything but that shame on me.”

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