Gillum, DeSantis, Florida debate

Screenshot/Twitter

Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee’s mayor and Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) went head-to-head Sunday during the gubernatorial debate.

In the one-hour showdown hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, the two went back and forth on race, President Donald Trump and the economy.



Here are three highlights.

DeSantis Downplays Comments About Race

Ever since Gillum won the Democratic primary to become Florida’s next governor, he’s been hit with comments that some have deemed racist. DeSantis appeared on television in August following his win and said Florida voters should not “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, and it was revealed that a Republican donor, who donated thousands of dollars to DeSantis’ campaign, called former President Barack Obama the n-word.

On Sunday, DeSantis, who did not return the money, said the donor “made a mistake” and apologized. He also added that he would be governor to “all Floridians,” citing his time as a prosecutor and his military experience.

The Tallahassee mayor said DeSantis has focused only on the color of his skin.

“I’m Black, I’ve been Black all my life, so far as I know, I will die Black,” said Gillum.

Gillum Attacks DeSantis Over His Support for the NRA

Gillum has been an opponent of the National Rifle Association and has vowed to be tough on the gun lobbying group if he’s elected governor.

“The congressman was against the piece of legislation because he is wholly owned by the NRA. He’s not gonna stand up to the National Rifle Association,” he said of DeSantis. “That’s why they’re running all these ads against me because they want the man that they bought.”

The NRA revealed new grades for Florida candidates running for office and gave DeSantis an A (it gave Gillum an F).

Desantis’ Confusing Answer on Trump Being a Good Role Model for Kids

In one of the most bizarre exchanges of the night, Jake Tapper asked DeSantis if Trump was a good role model for kids in Florida. The congressman began talking about Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying Trump made a promise to move the embassy and he followed through with it.

The moment did not go unnoticed by Gillum, who seemed perplexed by the answer.

“I’m confused by the question,” Gillum told Tapper, who reminded him what was asked. “That’s what I thought, originally. I got confused.”

Gillum added that the president was not a good role model for children and that he’s “weak.”

“Donald Trump is weak,” he said. “He performs as all weak people do. They become bullies.”





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