tv Campaign 2018 Florida Governors Debate CSPAN October 25, 2018 1:11am-2:13am EDT
former congressman ron desantis, a republican, is running against tallahassee mayor andrew gillum. the cook political report has labeled the race a toss-up. they took part at a campaign debate in broward college in western florida. this is about one hour. >> this is a wpbf 25 news special presentation. live from the campus of broward college. this is decision 2018 before you vote. the florida gubernatorial debate. made possible by the support of leadership florida, the florida press association, broward college, the florida league of cities aarp, the claude pepper , center and foundation. this is decision 2018 before you vote. the florida gubernatorial debate. pbf here is your moderator, w
25 news anchor todd mcdermott. todd: good evening and thank you for joining us for this all important final debate in the race for florida governor. i want to welcome our statewide audience on television and on florida public radio and our audience here in bailey hall in broward college. tonight we are going to seek answers to the issues that matter to you. i want to give a heartfelt thanks to our candidates for governor, ron desantis and andrew gillum. thank you both so much for being here and joining us for this debate. i want you to meet our panelists. an engagement editor for florida today. part of the u.s.a. today network . and anthony mann. a reporter for florida's sun sentinel. the rules for tonight are simple. each candidate has 60 seconds to answer a question. rebuttals and answers to follow-ups are 30 seconds and are at my discretion as debate moderator. both candidates agreed to forgo opening statements because we
want to allow as much time as possible to get to those issues. and those possible questions on those issues. based on drawing of numbers, the first question goes to you, mr. desantis. tonight pipe bombs were sent to the homes of barack and michelle obama bill and hillary clinton, cia director john brennan, cnn congressional , representative maxine waters. and the offices of congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz here in florida. i know that congresswoman wasserman schultz is here tonight. mr. desantis, just yesterday, your campaign issued a statement condemning another racist robocall targeting your opponent. have we reached a point where divisive political rhetoric have crossed the line to push some people over the edge? mr. desantis: it is great to be here. i'm ron desantis.
i am an iraq veteran, former prosecutor, and i'm on a mission to protect florida's future. i was at the congressional baseball practice when a gunman tried, shot my teammate steve scalise. because he didn't like republicans. so i know firsthand, when we go down that road it can be very deadly. so i condemn that. i condemn what happened today. obviously we need to get to facts before we jump to conclusions. but i think it is important when we try to unify. my agenda has been something that a majority of floridians can get behind. number one, i want to keep economic momentum going. i don't want to raise taxes like andrew wants to do. i want to build up the success we had. i also want to protect the environment floridians enjoy. we want to have clean water. we all know that is the life blood of our state. and if we don't get that right, florida's future is in jeopardy. i want to protect educational opportunities. including more vocational and technical training in our classrooms. because those are the jobs of 21st century.
i also want to protect our communities. you can have a good economy and environment, but if you don't have safe communities, a lot of that doesn't matter. todd: your time is up. thank you, mr. desantis. i want to direct the same question to mr. gillum. that is, the divisive political rhetoric pushing some of us over the line and over the edge. mr. gillum: i think the answer is absolutely it is. we saw not only around the country but also here in our own state, democratic elected officials who were targeted. thankfully, nobody was hurt in today's incidences. but we have really seen a collapsing of our political discourse. my opponent, as soon as he won the republican nomination, went on fox news and said to florida's voters, not to monkey the state up by electing me. it was followed up that same week by neo-nazis making calls into the state of florida to attack my character. jungle music in the background and the calls of monkeys being
heard. we have seen neo-nazis in power, -- empowered. we saw what happened in charlottesville. the moral equivocation this president demonstrated. my opponent, endorsed by him, has run this race very close to the trump handbook, where we call each other names. where we run false advertisements. in this case, every single one of his advertisements that mentions my name has been declared false by political ac -- politifact. mr. desantis: andrew gillum signed a pledge to sign up for a radical manifesto that attacks our police officers. that said they had no place in justice. that said they should be defunded. he signed a manifesto that said the u.s. was the biggest bully in the history of the planet. and that we should take money out of our military. this same group he stands with and stands by attacks the state of israel for boycott, divestment sanction. they say israel is a genocidal
apartheid state. so you want to talk about division, it doesn't get more divisive than the dream defenders. to this day he has not condemned the dream defenders. >> i will give you a chance to talk about that. mr. gillum: i think it is only appropriate. mr. desantis in the last debate lied 21 times. 21. and now today makes the 22nd, and we just started the debate. [applause] the pledge i signed was to reject accepting political contributions from the private prisons. the same private prison industry that has given him hundreds of thousands of dollars to do their bidding. he is owned by them. i reject that. and in my community, we work hand in glove with law enforcement to make us a city that is experiencing a five-year low in crime rate. todd: i have to give you another chance. mr. desantis: why did the pledge you signed say, i support the freedom papers?
that's the manifesto that has been documented in the press. that is 100% true and yet again andrew, who is a career politician, has never done anything outside of politics will not accept responsibility for his conduct. he wouldn't accept responsibility for getting $1000 ticket from an undercover fbi agent. we know he lied about that. at some point you have to demonstrate leadership and accept responsibly for what you have done. todd: mr. desantis, thank you. [applause] and i would ask the audience not to applaud because we want to have these gentlemen get all of their time in and discuss the issues. the question is to you, mr. gillum. your opponent says you are "embroiled in a lot of corruption scandals" and cannot be trusted to run the state. your opponent says you are corrupt. you were befriended with undercover fbi agents looking for corruption in your city. you socialized with them in the new york city.
you said the fbi told you, you are not the target of their investigation. this week, we know the subpoenaed text messages from a lobbyist who was your longtime friend appeared to show a high-priced ticket to see the broadway show "hamilton" came from the undercover agent, not from your brother as you stated. the question for you, did you know when you took that ticket from your brother in the lobby of the richard rodgers theater on in manhattan that an undercover agent posing as a developer paid for the ticket and was getting it to you? um: this has been big in news today. i want to set it straight for the benefit of my opponent. one, i did see "hamilton" -- and i was aware adam corey and mike miller arranged so we could go and see the show. i arrived at the theater and received my ticket from my brother. the problem that i have is i should have asked more questions
to make sure everything that had transpired was above board. i was informed by my brother at the time he gave adam cori tickets to a jay z-beyonce concert, which i understand they took later. and i understood that to have solved whatever the issue was with regard to the expenses. but i take responsibility for not having asked more questions. but let me tell you. i am running for governor. in the state of florida, we have a lot of issues. in fact, we have got 99 issues and hamilton ain't one of them. i get that. this is what my opponent wants to discuss, but i would ask him, what happened to the $145,000 of receipts for public taxpayer money that he has yet to reveal? todd: i have a follow-up for you. how will you assure florida voters in light of the stories, these scandals, that you did not violate ethics rules and you
will not be indicted somehow and through the state into turmoil if you were to become governor? mr. gillum: let me be very clear about this. which is, i'm not the subject of an fbi investigation. neither is my city. there is absolutely no proof to substantiate that. my opponent has gone out of his way to attempt to make that the case. but i have zero tolerance for corruption. i completely cooperated at every step of the way. compare that to how mr. desantis deals with the fbi. he has undermined them at every turn. he sponsored a piece of legislation to curb their investigation into this administration in washington, and even when so far as to suggest a "deep state" is at work to undermine this presidency. todd: i want to give mr. desantis his time. mr. desantis: i was working with the fbi, as a prosecutor to bring people to justice. when andrew is dealing with the fbi he is dealing with an undercover agent as a person of interest in an investigation. think about what he wants you to believe. he wants you to believe he is not under investigation. why would an undercover fbi agent posing as a contractor
give him a $1000 ticket to hamilton? he was asked a question by me, did you pay for it? he was indignant. he said, i am a grown man. i paid for my stuff. he lied. the text messages show he knew it came from mike miller. he didn't know he was undercover fbi, but now we know that. he didn't tell the truth about the junket in costa rica. let me just finish this. todd: it is 30 seconds. mr. desantis: the lobbyists who defunded that -- todd: i will advise you, if you talk over me when i am trying to stop you, nobody can hear you. unfortunately when you talk over me, we're all loud. if you talk over me, nobody at home in this audience will hear you. mr. desantis, this next question is for you. you say because the fbi probe, which you mentioned, and the scandals, andrew gillum cannot be trusted with running the state. how does that statement square up with your support of the president?
we have an ongoing fbi russia probe hanging over the white house. corruption scandals forced out two cabinet members because of misuse of cabinet money. we have the guilty pleas to federal crimes by the president's national security advisor and top trump campaign officials. i ask you, how does one square with the other? mr. desantis: let me finish my thought about what was going on here. he got the junket that he did not pay for in costa rica, $1000. they had business before the city. these lobbyists. andrew was getting things he should not have gotten and they got a $2 million contract from the city of tallahassee. that is what corruption is. you get something you should not have had and you give something to people who were trying to influence you. that is wrong. he has not told the truth about any of that. what i would like andrew to do is commit -- he is under ethics investigations. waive all confidentiality. get all the statements and evidence out there so the voters of florida can know whether it is on the up and up. if you commit to do that, we can
maybe put this all to bed. that is what we need to do. now in terms of the administration, i was conducting oversight over people who were bad apples. peter strzok, saying we are going to use an investigation to alter an election. i worked with fbi agents as a prosecutor. not one of them would have done that. he abused his power and i was glad to try to bring him to justice. >> i will give 30 seconds to mr. gillum. mr. gillum: is it possible to get a minute? you were supposed to dock his time when he continued to use his privilege. todd: how about 45 seconds. mr. gillum: let's try to deconstruct a lot of the lies that again came from my opponent. number one, i will back up. this is a race for governor. we had bombs delivered to homes of national leaders today. the issues confronting the people of this state. health care, accessibility, affordable housing, paying teachers what they are worth, are all being sucked up by the
first minutes of this debate by lies by this gentleman. who, by the way, told the press he would not release $145,000 of public money, our money, and where he traveled. we know he used some of that money to go to fox news to run his campaign for governor. yet he has refused to release those receipts. why don't you begin setting an example and release your receipts because i have released all of mine. todd: i know you want to talk about these other issues. we are way over on this one. let's talk about health care. i know you both want to talk about health care. this question is to andrew gillum. you promised to fight for medicaid expansion. you said on 800,000 people, you sunday, could get this coverage for them. florida's republican legislators are going to fight back. the state has rejected the idea last time. the governor eventually did, too. if you are governor, what can you really delivered to the people of florida, when you say you want to expand medicaid to
these people? mr. gillum: we should begin by saying the senate under republican control actually passed medicaid expansion by 39-1 under republican leadership. we deserve to expand medicaid and offer access to health care for over 800,000 of the most medically needy people in our state. if we do that, we will pull down $6 billion from the federal government that will go in the state health-care system of the state we can hire more doctors, nurses, health care workers. this means something to me. i remember having to wait for the free dental clinic to come through my neighborhood to have my teeth cleaned. i would expect the elected representatives in the house and the senate would do the work of the people of the state. suspend the philosophical differences and act on their behalf. my opponent in congress voted a dozen times to repeal the affordable care act. he told a cancer patient, when concerned about access to health care, to go to the emergency room.
my opponent also said he said he would allow insurance companies to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. todd: u.s. census reports the last year, just under 13%, more than one in 10 floridians do not have health insurance. about 2.5 million in the state. only four states are doing worse. you did vote for the american health care act, the replacement for obamacare. now, pre-existing conditions is mentioned in that legislation. however, the non-partisan congressional budget office analyzed it and found that plan would cost people with pre-existing conditions their coverage. they would not be able to afford the coverage because the premiums would rise too high. that is the nonpartisan budget office. i know you want to defend that vote. mr. desantis: it is not true. todd: what is not true? the nonpartisan budget office? mr. desantis: they have been wrong about a lot of things. here is what we did. we wanted to bring premiums and deductibles down. i had so many folks come to me
and their deductibles and premiums skyrocketing. people paying more for premiums than for rent. people could not afford it. some people lost access. the bill mandated pre-existing conditions. there were people who dropped coverage and decided not to do it. there were subsidies that would have paid that off. they would have been risk subsidies. they would not have born the cost. that was a way to have more access to people, lower premiums. because if you lower the premiums, more people can afford it. you'll get more people doing it. here is the promise i make in florida. if for some reason something changes on the individual market protections, the court does something, i will sign a bill to help folks with pre-existing conditions in the state of florida. todd: i want to give you the chance. just going back to the congressional budget office analysis, they said that $8 billion put in, hr 1628, was
supposed to pay for pre-existing conditions. it was $1.6 billion a year for five years. and the cbo said it would not cover costs. they would still lose their pre-existing coverage. mr. desantis: way more money than that. there was over $115 billion in the bill. states have done this effectively like maine, who had , obamacare style architecture prior to that on a state level. they used this tool and were able to subsidize the people who were effectively uninsurable. that brought rates down for everybody else but allowed access. it was way over $100 billion. i'm not sure where you're getting that but at the end of the day, we know everyone on medicare, they have been covered on pre-existing conditions for decades. we all support that. there was a problem on the individual market and we should deal with it. todd: my facts come from the congressional budget office. congressional budget office. mr. gillum: he can have a monopoly on his opinion. he does not have a monopoly on facts.
facts matter. his record matters. he voted repeatedly to take away health care. he voted for insurance companies to deny pre-existing coverage. if you are a cancer patient, a patient with diabetes, sickle cell, if you are pregnant woman, he would have allowed for your health care to be taken from you. that is a fact. he cannot run away from it just because he wants to be governor. he has to level with the people about what his congressional record is. todd: i have to give mr. desantis another 30 seconds. then we have to move on. mr. desantis: anybody with pre-existing conditions, if that falls through, we will stand by you. the bottom line is we have to make it more affordable for people. you can go check it out. we are focused on affordability. also protecting people's existing coverage. andrew supports a single-payer plan which will force people off medicare, off of their employer plans. dump them on a government run
single payer plan. that is wrong. you should be able to keep the coverage you have earned whether it is medicare, medicare advantage. to say you are going to take people off of that is dead wrong. todd: we are going to move on. entlemen, thank you. i expected that to go the way it went, it went long but thank you both. we are going to go to anthony mann. >> you support a $15 minimum wage in florida and raising the state corporate tax rate to bout 8%. you say that money would generate $1 billion to increase education funding. won't those moves stunt job creation and possibly cause layoffs because of possible raising payroll costs and keep some companies from moving to florida? and maybe cause businesses to leave the state? mr. gillum: no. we have seen this and other laces.
let's get to the tax and revenue proposal. we are talking about, my opponent is talking about the fact i want to propose an income tax. i am against a state income tax. i have never proposed a state income tax. 97% of businesses do not pay any corporate tax at all. 97%. i am not proposing to change that either. i am talking about the 3% of the wealthiest corporations in the state. they received under the tax realignment supported by the congressman $6.3 billion from the federal government tax money, our money. all we are saying is they can keep $5.3 billion. we deserve one billion of that to come into this state, pay teachers a wage they can live on. offer high quality early learning to our children. reinvest in apprenticeships, degree training programs they could use to get a job, monetize their job and earn a living wage. todd: thank you. another question on the economy. a question for mr.
desantis. >> you are campaigning on protecting the economic momentum of florida. a united way study last year showed that just under 30% of florida's families can be considered the working poor. they work full time but can't make ends meet. how are you going to help them get bigger paychecks? mr. desantis: what andrew is proposing, massive tax increases, those are the people that will be hurt the most. i started off making $6 an hour. it was a job i needed to get through school. i had multiple jobs. under andrew's plan, i would have had no job, businesses will leave the state. people will lose jobs. it will stop people from investing in florida. it would be a historic mistake. i'm going to welcome more investment in florida. evil will no florida will have
a low tax climate. we're going to be open for business. here is what he is not telling you. he has a history of raising taxes. stiff increases. property tax increase as a commissioner in tallahassee even though he voted to give himself tens of thousands of dollars in additional retirement benefits. he's proposing a 40% tax increase which is going to devastate folks. the j.m.i. study, nonpartisan said if you add up all of his spending proposals, the only way you could pay for it is due a 38% statewide sales tax or impose a state income tax. he is not going to tell you he's going to do that, but he has a history of raising taxes. he has proposals we can't afford. todd: because you talked about his plan, i will give you 30 seconds to talk about your plan. mr. gillum: can i get 45? todd: i don't want to negotiate anymore. mr. gillum: he has no fidelity toward the rules and he continues to -- but i will try to do what i can with the moments that i have. this is the same congressmen who said by passing this huge tax realignment, concentrating
the money with the top 1% of the wealthiest corporations that that money was going to magically trickle down and working people will get a raise. they have drilled a deep hole into the national debt and working people have not seen any appreciable rise in their wages. let me be sure about this. when working people get a raise, they spend it. they pay rent and mortgage and maybe take a vacation. that should not be too much in the state of florida in 2018. todd: that is your time, sir. mr. desantis, i'll give you another 30 if you want it. mr. desantis: he is complaining about the economy. unemployment is 3.7%. we are on a roll. i don't think we have reached our potential. we can expand florida's economic base. we can have strong technology sector, strong manufacturing, strong finance. we can get to the point like texas did where there is a recession.
florida is effectively recession proof because we're attracting so much investment. we cannot allow andrew gillum to take away florida's character as a low tax state. mr. gillum: i need 30 seconds. todd: this is the last 30 seconds. mr. gillum: is totally fine, and i appreciate your generosity on time. 40% of people -- 44% of the people in the state of florida said they cannot make ends meet at the end of the month. mr. desantis' big donors may be doing just fine, they've got their yachts and boat, but for the rest of the working people in this state they want a wage they can live on. having grown up with my mother who was a school bus driver and father who was a construction worker, and watching them figure out which bills to pay before something got cut off, it is enough of giving to the wealthiest 1% while the rest struggling. nacceptable. todd: let's move on. mr. gillum, this question is
for you. you have said we have to end this for-profit education system. in reference to charter schools in the state. 10% of students in florida attend charter schools that provide an alternative. are you saying you would cut any dollars away from what funds charter schools? mr. gillum: i'm not proposing a change to the status quo. what we are saying is that we will put money into our public system where 90% of our kids are being educated. and it is going to begin by paying teachers a wage they can live on. right now in the state of florida, teachers make an average salary that's the 45th lowest of all 50 states. if my grandmother was here, she would say it is a crying shame. we deserve to pay our teachers a wage they can live on. miami-dade, the school board is debating whether or not to change the zoning for property on school grounds to create a -- to create affordable housing
because teachers can't afford to live in the neighborhood where they work. i wouldn't be here today were it not for miss aubrey, the teachers who poured into me, created an opportunity for me to push past my limits, to become the first of my siblings to graduate from high school and college. they deserve a wage they can live on and when i am governor i'm going to fight for it. todd: i'm going to ask the audience again, i need to hear everything they say, so if you would hold your applause, that would be great. we are talking education. we are also talking charter schools which are important to you. where do you stand? mr. desantis: an true is singing a different tune. he said charter schools would be done. they are public schools, so they have the ability to innovate and be much more nimble, and these are parents making the decision to send these kids to schools. and some of them are succeeding. the renaissance school here locally is one of the best performing schools. the performance has been positive.
you have minority achievement gap is narrowing in some of these schools. all i want is results. i think public education is very important, but i don't think public education is synonymous with legacy bureaucracies. i think parents, teachers and students are the heart of it. not the bureaucrat -- bureaucrats. that's who i want to empower. i am on a mission to get vocational and technical training back into schools. particularly in the high schools, we can partner with local industries and give them good opportunities for jobs. todd: i want to give 30 seconds back to you, mr. gillum. mr. gillum: let me say first off, the congressman has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from betsy devos. actually $200,000. their agenda is simple, it is completely to defund the public education system and stand up for the for-profit charter school industry. my opposition was to for-profit schools in the state. we ought to unleash the talent of teachers to teach and
unleash in my opinion the unmitigated talent of our students to learn. why should we foresake 90% of the kids to focus only on 10%. mr. desantis: so you are going to up and the lives of 240 thousand students in florida. again, students whose parents are making the decision, who are performing well. here is the thing, i want accountability for all of our schools including public charter schools. when i am governor come i will push for a requirement, that if you are going to start a charter school, you will need insurance for the whole first year year cost because if it's not work, i don't want the tax pay ornse the hook for that, i want what works. what andrew is saying will disrupt a lot of families who finally have a school that works for them. todd: thank you. it is time to take a breath. perhaps take a drink of water. we will take a two-minute break and we will return with decision 2018. the debate for florida
governor. when we come back. [applause] announcer: this is decision 2018, before you vote. the florida gubernatorial debate. here is your moderator, wpbf news anchor, todd mcdermott. todd: you did not see the marching band come through? we are back. if the audience would take their seats, it has been a lively first half hour. let us get right to the next question, this is for you, mr. gillum. your campaign website says president trump's attacks on cities friendly to immigrants must end. and we must "remove the immoral family separation policies." you want to replace immigrations and customs enforcement, i.c.e. so do you support sanctuary cities in the state of florida? would you refuse cooperation with federal officers?
mr. gillum: there are no sanctuary cities in the state of florida and there is no definition or a sanctuary city. we are a nation and a state of borders. we also believe that we are in nation and a state of values. we don't separate babies, put them in cages, separate them from their mothers. imgration and border control has an important job to do. and we ought to empower them to do that job. which is why we propose moving the agency inside the department of justice which obviously already oversees four agencies so they can do the job of making sure rapists and murderers aren't coming into the united states. make sure traffickers aren't coming into the united states. make sure fentanyl that's asia in containers in into our country. i believe in borders in the writes but i believe our mission has been diverted toward taking away breastfeeding babies from their mothers and that is inconsistent with the american way.
todd: mr. gill um, thank you. mr. -- mr. gillum, thank you. mr. desantis, there's a caravan of people coming to the u.s. seeking asylum. you're on record saying you don't approve of the family separation policy. what would you do as governor if the policy continues. mr. desantis: andrew says there's no sanctuary cities in florida, but that won't be true when he's gnchor. he said he won't cooperate with donald trump's i.c.e. he's he hates trump so much, if we have a criminal ill lell and there's an i.c.e. detainer on that individual to get them in federal custody and send them home he went commit to cooperating. i'll qupt, i'll get that criminal out of our state and country. why would you allow your dislike for the president to
knowingly put communities at risk? mothers who may have their son sons or daughters harmed by somebody? that is just wrong. we have to protect floridians first. todd: to be clear that was a question for you, i gave you more time, however, mr. gillum, 30 seconds for rebuttal? mr. gillum: mr. desantis has far too many degrees not to get it but yet again tonight he show he is doesn't get it. under no circumstance would i let one who committed a crime in our community, our state, get away with the commital of a crime. they'll be adjuted -- adjudicated through the normal judicial process and held responsible. but we also said we're not going to criminalize their people off their personhood. simply because you're a brown-skinned person or speak a language that may be a foreign tongue to mr. desantis or live in a neighborhood what includes more brown people that doesn't in an of itself subject you to racial profiling. that's the essential instance of what he'd be promoting.
todd: mr. desantis. mr. desantis: he says if omeone commits a crime they go through the justice system. once they served the system, are you going to hand them over to i.c.e. or not? he went commit to that that means the child molester gets released back though streets and that child molester will reoffend and someone's son odaughter in florida will end up paying the price. true. the truth hurts. todd: this is too important a claim. >> mr. gillum: in my opinion, that would never happen. if you commit a crime like that you'll be deported from the united states. we'll cooperate with any federaled orer that comes down into the state and into any county because that's the law of the land but more
importantly when you're running for governor the first thing you ought to have to do is level honestly with the people. you've got ads on television that are completely false. they've been ranked complete he false. how can we expect you to be honest with the people of the state of florida if not here on this stage? you can be honest with them about my record or your record. you're disqualified in my opinion from the office of overnor. mr. desantis: andrew is the one who lied to the people on sunday night about accepting a gift from an undercover fbi agent. he is the one who lied. about the costa rica luxury trip. he is the one who was with the lobbyists. he is the one who did all this, and now, the documents come out and they sure he was lying and now he is trying to say that he apologizes. he is just apologizing because he got caught. he's not apologizing. todd: i would ask again if we would stop the applause. go ahead, mr. gillum. mr. gillum: unfortunately, the theatrics are on full display.
if mr. desantis could calm down, we are not going anywhere. let's just talk about the truth of the matter. if he wants to talk about receipt, not a hamilton ticket but $145,000 of taxpayer money, why won't you release those receipts? where is the evidence of where you went and how our money was spencht to be a junket for you to go to new york and hang out ith faux news and friends. mr. desantis: both andrew and i have received money to travel to washington. the difference is, i received mine illegally. -- i received my money legally to travel from the federal overnment to travel legally. andrew got travel money from the federal government because it was from an undercover agent investigating him for corruption. mr. gillum: release the receipts, it is that simple. my receipts are public. mine have been made public. mr. desantis unfortunately has
still refused to make public his receipts. we are talking about a couple hundred dollars, compared to $145,000. todd: i believe mr. desantis has pointed out that those records are available. mr. gillum:: they are not available and he has refused to release them that is a fact. mr. desantis: every congressperson does the same thing. he violated the law. i follow the law. todd: i'm going to direct this next question to you, mr. desantis. august, you said of andrew gillum's run for governor, "the last thing we need to do is monkey this up by embracing his socialist agenda." fox news said, they do not condone the language. you called some of this response "absurd." you have made appearances at four freedom center events. four separate times, for peeches. among some of mr. horowitz's
statement, quoting here this country's only serious race war is is against whites. >> mccarthyism -- todd: i'll ask the questions. wait for the question. he also said, " if blacks are oppressed in america, why is there not a black exodus?" in 2015, before the freedom center, you said of mr. horwitz, he has done great work. i have been a big admirer and i have been to his conferences in the past, i have been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells american people the truth and is standing up for the right thing. those are the words. mr. desantis: he had not even made those statements, then. todd: yes he had, sir. the first statement -- mr. desantis: how am i supposed to know every single statement somebody makes? here is the deal. let me say this straight up. i have lived my life, whether it is athletics, or military, serving as a prosecutor. when i was in iraq, we worked together as a team, regardless of race. we had the american flag on our
arm. we wore the same uniform and we fought for the country. when i was a prosecutor, i stood up for victims of every race, color, and creed. that's the only way to do it in our country. it's something i believe in and as governor i'll represent all the people, everyone will get a fair shake. i won't bow down to the alter -- altar of political correctness, i went let the media smear like they like to do. i am certainly not going to take anything from andrew gillum who has endorsed the dream defender who said veil an apartheid state. todd: mr. desantis, i will point out, i wish you would have waited for the question, because i had a question and it was not what you think it is. mr. gillum, you have 30 seconds. mr. gillum: my grandmother used to say, a hit dog will holler. and it hollered through this room. mr. desantis has spoken. first of all he hooze neonazis
helping him out in the state. he has spoken to race -- at racist conferences. he has accepted a contribution from someone who referred to the president of the united tates as a muslim n-i-g-g-e-r. i'm not calling him a racist. i am simply saying the racists believe he is a racist. todd: if i would ask the audience to please let mr. desantis respond? mr. desantis: the conference was keynoted by a medal of honor recipient. it was not a racial conference, that is the absolute lie. i will not sit here and take this nonsense from a guy like andrew gillum who always plays a victim who is going out and attacking, aligning himself with groups who attack our men and women in law enforcement, attack our military. he still would not disavow the dream defenders.
he endorsed this dream defenders, they endorsed him, and that is wrong. todd: mr. gillum. mr. gillum: i am happy to speak on that. first of all, he continues to attempt to manipulate my record to mean that i am against law and order. first of all in my leadership as mayor of the city of tallahassee, we hired 50 mu law enforcement officers. we connected those officers, hand in glove with the community through community policing. in my city, we are experiencing a five-year low in our crime rate. he described it in the last debate as a city run amok. po lit fact has to -- had -- lit fact had to correct him -- politifact corrected him on that as well. he simply has no relationship with the truth. he doesn't have it here is a candidate, and he certainly would not have it as a governor, but we don't have to worry about that, because we will retire him on november 6 and keep it moving. [cheers and applause] todd: i would like to move on. i will give you 30. gentlemen, i don't want to make this the issue for the rest of
the debate, if we could. mr. desantis: facts matter. tallahassee under the gillum administration had the highest number of murders in the history of the city. the guy running to succeed him, his mayor right now, andrews former chief of staff, is sending out flyers saying, last year, we had the most murders in history. we need change, we need leadership. yes, because andrew failed on that. tallahassee is one of the most crime-ridden cities. bar none. them are the facts. mr. gillum: i would suggest the congressman might want to reconsider whether he wants to be governor. the governor's mansion is in tallahassee. i would hate for you to be hurt. [laughter] because, if we were to believe your vision of the city, which is completely inaccurate, the city of tallahassee is on a pace to be at a 20 year low in our crime rate and we did that by at the same time, arresting fewer people. the city of tallahassee works hand in glove with law enforcement and that is why we are ranked on all american
city, and this week, we were just ranked a number one place to raise a family. that's the kind of city we live in. todd: we will move on. the next question is from anthony mann. >> mr. desantis, florida bans felons who have completed their sentences from voting. what's your position on the proposed constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences except for convicted murderers an sex offenders? mr. desantis: i think it is wrong to automatically restore rights to felons have committed very serious crimes. now i want people to be redeemed, but you have to prove that you are getting back with the law. many felons reoffend. i think it is wrong to automatically give them a free pass to be able to vote without them showing they can be back in our community. i also think it's prornt as a former prosecutor, we have dealt with law enforcement. i'm committed to having safe communities. andrew is making jokes about
tallahassee when they had the highest number of murders in their history last year. i don't think it is funny for those murder victims and the families. i don't think it is funny when you make light of crime, because i know how devastating that can be. i've stood with families who have had hair lyes turned upside down by some very, very bad people. i think we need to protect our community, i don't want to go down a road where crime is spiraling out of control. i want people to earn their way back but you have to earn it and you don't get it for free. todd: mr. mann? >> what's your though on the amendment? if it doesn't pass would you continue the scott era policy or go back to the previous olicy. mr. gillum: mr. desantis has never had the responsibility or obligation of leading a community through a crime or helping to fix a problem. the number one way to reduce crime is to reduce recidivism. one way we can help his for
these 1.7 million individuals who don't have their right to vote, the constitutional amendment does not give it back to everybody. but if you have done your time and paid your debt to society, you ought to be able to re-enter society have your constitutional right to vote and your right to work here in the state. buzz if they don't have the opportunity to make a living for themselves, you oftentimes find them reoffending. isadora ant to go to rangel now. >> during a cnn debate, you vowed "to hold those folks who are the biggest polluters accountable." the powerful sugar industry has ften lobbied against environmental proposals in tall has sue. your -- tallahassee. our longtime friends and advisors, sean pittman, lob beens behalf of the florida crystal, one of the largest sugar companies in the state.
you have also said you will not demonize the workers who rely on the sugar industry. how can voters trust the you ill hold this powerful industry accountable. mr. gillum: they can begin by looking at my record on environment and energy. the fact that i have been endorsed by nearly every major environmental organization of there, -- the same week that donald trump pulled out of the paris accord, we begin work on a solar plant in my city. tripling the amount of energy produced. we have taken the word protection out of the department of environmental protection. mr. desantis and mr. rick scott negate whether or not global warming and climate change is actually a real thing. what florida voters need to know about me, they'll have a governor who believes in science. we'll hold the major polluters in this state, to include big sugar, to include big ag but also to include the out of control development that's happening north of lake okeechobee to get some real standards back in the state and clean up this blue green algae flowing out of the east and west side of the state of florida.
i'll make that commitment because that's consistent with my value set. todd: and you have a followup? >> i have a question for mr. desantis. on the environment. you support the reservoir south of lake okeechobee which many experts agree will reduce discharges east and west. however the reservoir doesn't do do anything to curb pollution into the lake and pollution in the tributaries river. the last eight years have seen a pass of deregulation, deep cuts to water management districts. my question to you is would you reverse the path of deregulation in florida? mr. desantis: the water is our life blood. we have to protect the environment floridians enjoy. it affects quality of life and health and safety. all the drinking water is affected by having clean water, restoring the everglades, our economy is affected by it. if you don't have clean water we lose our status as a tourist destination and could end up
being a high tax state because we don't get the revenue. peel on the water management district, they're not going to be a stooge of an industry. they're going to understand what is happening on the coastal communities. i'm also going to have very good water quality standards. you're right that what go into the lake is important. i have the vision. but also the leader to gip -- leadership to get this tone. i'm the only big sugar and live tell about it. they came after me in my primary with millions and millions of dollars attacking me every which way. they called me everything but a child of god and yet i stalk to my principles because i know it's the right thing for florida. i will win this race and this will be a mr. gillum: it is important to measure things by what people have done. desantis case, he did
that. he got a three. he is at the bottom when it comes to the ranking. he has taken over a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the biggest pluretters of this state. mr. desantis is not going to stand up to big sugar or others. todd: the state passed new gun control measures after the massacre of 17 people not far froo here in parkland. you said you would have voted that bill. why not ban the sale of bum stocks which allow a rifle to mimic a machine gun? mr. desantis: my wife and i have two young kids, and so safety in schools is important to me.
i am going to work with andy pollock, who lost his daughter, and we are going to fix school security. you can take that to the bank. you have to work with law enforcement, and you need to identify those individuals who should not have access to firearms. the blankets ban is going to get struck down in the courts. you have to do it in a way that is precise. that is what you have to do. focus on these people, make sure they are off the streets. the problem i saw with parkland was a failure at multiple levels of government, at the local level, at the federal level with the f.b.i., and yet here we stand. nobody has been held accountable yet. when i am governor, we are going to bring accountability in, and i am going to make sure folks are held accountable when they drop the ball. todd: mr. gillum, would you have signed that bill? mr. gillum: what i would have done is pushed for a stronger bill.
mr. desantis should say he is endorsed by the n.r.a., another entity he is wholery accountable and owned by. they sued me and drug me through court for two years because we had a city ordinance that said you could not shoot guns in city parks. if you want to own the power of god at your waist belt, you ought to have a background check. when our parents drop our kids off at school, we should have an expectation that we will be able to pick them up alive. odd: that is time. mr. desantis: he is most hostile candidate to second amendment rights. he would ban virtually all hand guns that are sold. that says he is going to engage in confiscation. he will not protect your rights. i will stand with law abiding sipses, public safety is number
one. we are going to work with law enforcement. todd: mr. gillum? mr. gillum: our proposal was very simple. if you want to shoot off a gun at can fire 60 bullets in 60 seconds, you ought to join the military. turning our streets, enableds and schools into war zones is unacceptable. it is no coincidence that post nightclub what happened here, and no coincidence that what has beened at the stone man douglas. we have to check the n.r.a. they will not run roughshod over the state of florida. there are common and decent solutions we can make. todd: gentlemen, you are not going to believe this. but we have approached the time for closing statements. by draw, and i am glad we have the time. you will get your time on this. mr. desantis, by draw your
closing stammens go first. mr. desantis: it is great to be here. i want to acknowledge my wife casey. we have two kids under 2. i love her and i couldn't do this without her. -- leslie alexander eyewitness i want to take it to the next level. we can bring in and grow high paying jobs here. but you have to keep taxes low. you could go in the direction of tax increases. i will protect the environment. we will solve the water problem and stop the algae discharges. we have got to did it. i will also protect our communities. that means work with law enforcement, not aligning with groups like andrew has who are hostile to law enforcement. the police are risking their lives for us. the leels we can do is stand by them. i will do it with honor and integrity. as a naval officer we put
honor, courage and career first. i am someone who has the goen into this and tried to stand by taxpayers every step of the way. as governor, i will stand by the taxpayers of florida and protect florida's future. todd: mr. desantis, thank you. i want to make sure mr. gillum gets all of your time. go ahead. mr. gillum: i will say thank you again for the evening. i thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have a conversation about the vision for the future of this state. i am from miami. i grew up in an area called richmond heights. because my mother and father both had blue collar jobs. we would get up early and sleep longer at my grant patients haiti. my grandmother had a dual ritual. she would anoint our head with oil and make sure we would be ok. second she would say boy, go to school, mind your teachers, get your lesson and one day bring
it home. in trump america, we have forgotten we are in this together, that the only way we can climb higher and further is to be on our neighbor's backs. we have an opportunity on vember 6th to send a loud, unapologetic message that common sense and decency still prevails here in florida. i am proud to be the mayor of tallahassee, but i will greet you next a little the governor of the great state of florida. [cheers and applause] todd: gentlemen, i want to offer my personal thank you for being part of this. i have 15 more questions. if you would like to hang around, we can do another three hours. we don't have the time. but i want to thank both of you as public servants, both running for this office, for being here tonight and participate negligence this. my heartfelt thanks for both of you. and thanks to you as well.
i can't hear myself. the audience has enjoyed this debate. make sure to vote. election date is november 6. i think it has been a great night for american democracy. good night. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its captioning content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org.] ♪
>> with the midterm elections just days away, watch the competition for the control of congress on c-span. see for yourself the candidates and the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. carr c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, democratic strategist steve mcmahon anton ya harris talk about the best and worst adams of the season. and we are joined to discuss estate and inheritance tax laws. join "washington journal" "washington journal" thursday morning.
join the discussion. >> sunday on c-span's "q & a," james mann, author in residence at johns-hopkins university school of advanced international stud yes, sir talks about his biography of president george w. bush. i don't really worry about my legacy. will still studying theodore roosevelt or hairy trumaine. >> it is not too soon to judge on some aspects of his legacy. it is not too soon to judge on the war in iraq. why? because it didn't accomplish what he thought it was going to accomplish before he started the war. t cost 4,000-plus american lives and $2 trillion. i write in my book, and i don't think this judgment will change, that it was one of the
biggest strategic blunders in american history. >> james mann, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q & a." >> law enforcement is investigating pipe bombs sent to former president obama, hillary clinton, cnn and billionaire george soros. each of the packages was discovered before reaching the intended targets. at a white house bill signing ceremony, president trump commented on the packages and the criminal investigation. >> the safety of the american people is my highest and absolute priority. i have just concluded a briefing with the f.b.i., department of justice, department of homeland security
and the u.s. secret service. as we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts, and a major federal investigation is now underway. the full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for ose despicable acts to justice. we will spare no resource or expense in this efforts, and i just want to tell you that in these times we have to unify. we have to come together and send one very clear strong unmistakable messageing that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the united states of america. [applause] > thank you.
>> that is a very bipartisan statement. i can tell you from bowe sides, we both agree on that. this egregious conduct is abhorrent for everything we hold dear as americans. ideal issue updates as they become available, and i want to thank everybody for their understanding. we are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it. artuo vargas, c.e.o. of the naleo educational funneled talked about the influence of hispanic voters in this year's elections. it took place at the national press club in washington. you are watching 2018 campaign coverage on c-span.