It’s the first time something like this has happened in recent history. Current Florida Governor Rick Scott is in a race for the governorship against former Governor Charlie Crist. A debate was scheduled to take place last night in South Florida but the Scott originally refused to come on stage.

Watch the bizarre encounter below:

According to Scott, the Democratic candidate was violating the rules of the debate by having the fan under the podium.

It was entirely reasonable for Crist to want the fan, as MSNBC noted:

For context, it’s worth noting that the high yesterday in South Florida was, quite literally, 90 degrees with high humidity. I don’t care what your politics are – if you’re wearing a suit on a hot day in the subtropics, getting ready to stand under stage lights for an hours, a small fan seems like a rather modest, sane idea.

Crist jumped on the opportunity to expose Scott’s cowardice.

“Are we really going to debate about a fan? Or are we going to talk about education, and the environment and the future of our state?” asked Crist. “I mean, really.”

Rick Scott did eventually take the stage but, when answering for his odd and scared behavior, offered only confusing canned lines as justification stating that he wasn’t sure that Charlie Crist would show up for the debate.

It’s a line that Senator Marco Rubio repeated to journalists after the debate.

“It wasn’t clear he [Crist] wasn’t even going to show up,” said Rubio.

That means that the explanation that Rick Scott tried to offer for his absence on the stage, a stage that Charlie Crist was standing on in front of a live audience, was that he wasn’t sure that Charlie Crist would show up on the stage.

Currently, polls have Crist and Scott polling neck and neck. Though, this recent gaffe on the part of Scott will almost certainly help persuade voters that he has more to answer for than his apparent fear of stage fans.


Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.