tv Campaign 2018 Florida Governors Debate CSPAN November 1, 2018 4:59am-5:58am EDT
of it? or do you think we are in the middle of a long process in which people are being radicalized and are going to try to carry out their anger in violent ways? , personally,y, yes i think we are probably in for more of this sort of thing. things i immediately became concerned about was ever going to have a copycat here? >> this week on "washington journal," looking at battleground states. the most competitive races of the midterm elections. in minnesota, new york, california, pennsylvania, and florida. join us for our live campaign 2018 call in's during washington journal at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. for floridace
governor, former republican congressman ron desantis debated tallahassee mayor andrew gillam, a democrat. the current governor is term limited and running for the senate. vote. the florida gubernatorial debate. made possible by the florida press association, broward college, aarp, the claude pepper center and foundation. this is decision 2018 before you vote. the florida gubernatorial debate. now here is your moderator, 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 audience. here in bailey hall in broward college. we are going to seek answers to the issues that matter to you. i also want to thank our
candidates for governor, ron desantis and andrew gillum. thank you both so much for being here for joining us for this debate. i went you to meet our -- i want you to meet our panelists. this is an engagement editor for florida today. part of the u.s.a. today network and anthony mann. a reporter for florida's sun sentinel. to the rules. they 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 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 barack obama, bill and hillary clinton, john brennan,
congressional representative maxine waters. and debbie wasserman schultz here in florida. i know what 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'm on a mission to protect florida's future. i was at the congressional these -- baseball practice when a gunman tried to shoot steve scalise.
i know firsthand, when we start going down that road, it will be deadly. i condemn that. i condemn what happened today. obviously we need to get to facts before we jump to conclusions. i think it is important when we try to unify, my agenda has been something that a majority of floridians can get behind. i don't want to raise taxes like andrew wants to do. 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. 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. those are the jobs of 21st century. i want to protect our communities. 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 that mr. gillum. 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 targeted. thankfully, nobody was hurt in today's incidences. we have 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 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, what happened in charlottesville. the moral equivocation this candidate has demonstrated. -- that this president has demonstrated. my opponent has run this race very close to the trump handbook, where we call each other names.
where we run false advertisements. every one of his statements that mentions my name has been declared false. mr. desantis: andrew gillum signed a pledge to sign up for a radical manifesto to attack our police officers. that said they had no place in justice. that said they should be defunded. he said the u.s. was the biggest bully in the history of the planet. 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, and sanction. they say israel is a genocidal apartheid state. you want to talk about division, it doesn't get more divisive than the dream defenders. he has not condemned the dream defenders. >> mr. gillum, i want to 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 this makes the 22nd and we just started. 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. in my community, we work 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 except responsibly for what you -- except -- accept responsibly for what you have done. todd: mr. desantis, thank you. 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 corrupt. you were befriended with undercover fbi agents looking for corruption in your city. you socialized with them in the 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 is did you know when you took that ticket from your brother in the lobby of the richard rodgers theater in manhattan that an undercover agent had gifted it to you? mr. desantis: i know this has been a great theme of news today and so i want to set it straight, especially for the benefit of my opponent. one, i did go and see hamilton. 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. 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. we have 99 issues and hamilton ain't one of them. this is what my opponent wants to discuss. i would ask my opponent 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 -- throw the state into turmoil if you were to become governor? mr. gillum: let me be clear about this. which is, i'm not the subject of an fbi investigation. neither is my city. there is no proof to
substantiate that. my opponent has gone out of his way to make that the case. i have zero tolerance for corruption. i completely incorporated at -- 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 even went 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. think about what he wants you to believe. he wants you to believe he is not under investigation. why would an undercover 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 said, i am a grown man. i paid for my stuff. he lied. he knew it came from mike miller. 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 square up with your support of the president? we have an ongoing russia probe over the white house. we have the guilty pleas to federal crimes by the president's national security advisor and top trump campaign officials. 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. 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 put this all to bed. that is what we need to do. in terms of the administration, i was conducting oversight over people who were bad apples, saying we are going to use an investigation to alter an election. i work with fbi agents, they are good civil servants.
he abused his power and i was glad to try to bring him to justice. 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 lies from my opponent. number one, i'm just going to back up because this is a race for governor. we have bombs delivered to homes of national leaders today. the issues confronting the people the state, health care, accessibility, affordable housing. paying teachers what they are worth, 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 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, 800,000 people, you could get this coverage for them. florida's republican legislators are going to fight back. the state house rejected the idea last time, and the governor eventually did too. if you are governor, what can you really deliver to the people of florida when you say, i want to expand medicaid to these people? mr. gillum: we should begin by saying the senate actually passed medicaid expansion by 39-1 under republican leadership. we deserve to expand medicaid and offer access to health care for 800,000 of the most needy people in our state. if we do that, we will pull down
$6 billion from the federal government that will go in the 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 to my neighborhood to have my teeth cleaned. i would expect the elected representatives in the house and senate would do the work of the people of the state. suspend the philosophical differences and act on their behalf. my opponent 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. 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. 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. 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? 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 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.
not people, through no fault of their own. but there were subsidies that would have paid that off. they would not have born the cost. that was a way to have more access to people, lower premiums. 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. back to the congressional budget office analysis, they said that $8 billion put in, hr 1628, was supposed to pay for pre-existing conditions. $1.6 billion a year for five years. 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 not insured. 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 for decades. there was a problem on the individual market and we should deal with it. todd: my facts come from the 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. that is what my health-care plan is. 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 singing payer plan. -- single player 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. gentlemen, thank you. i expect at it to go the way it went.
it was long. i thank you both. we are going to go to anthony mann. anthony: mr. gillum you support , a $15 minimum wage in florida and raising the state corporate tax rate to about 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 places. 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. just over 30% of florida's -- 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. under andrew's plan, i would not have had a job. businesses will leave the state. people will lose jobs. it will stop people from investing in florida. it would be a historic mistake? -- mistake. i'm going to welcome more investment in florida. people will know that florida will have a low tax climate. that 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 -- do 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 -- -- to speak over you. 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. what did we learn? 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. -- and florida is essentially recession proof. you have to have a low tax climate. 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. 44% of the people in the state of florida said they cannot his -- ends meet at the end of the month. big donors make ends meet of -- big donors are fine. for the rest of the working people in the state, they simply 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. unacceptable. todd: let's move on. mr. gillam, this question is for you. you have said we have to end this for-profit education system. 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 are wage they can live on. right now and the state of -- in the state of florida, teachers make an average salary that is 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 affordable housing because , teachers cannot afford to live in the neighborhood 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: in the democratic primary, 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 these parents are succeeding. if you look at the performance, it has an positive. -- has been positive. the 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. 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 betty devos. actually, $200,000. their agenda is simple, it is completely to defund the public education system and to stand up for the for profit charter school industry. my opposition was to for-profit schools. we ought to unleash the talent of teachers to teach. unleash, in my opinion, the unmitigated passion of our students to learn. why should we forsake 90% of the kids for 10% of charter school students? it is not what florida deserves. will give 30 seconds back to mr. desantis now. 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. because if it is not working, i don't want the taxpayers on the hook for that. 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 division of florida -- the debate for florida governor, when we come back. ♪ 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 i.c.e. the question is, do you support sanctuary cities in the city of florida? would you refuse cooperation with federal agents when immigrant children are separated from their parents at the order -- the border? >> 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 a nation and a state of values. we don't separate babies put , them in cages and separate
them from their mothers. immigration 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 already oversees 4 agencies so they can do the job of ensuring that rapists and murderers are not coming into the united states, making sure sex traffickers are not coming in. intercepting the fentanyl that is coming by containers into our streets. i believe in borders here in the united states. but i believe our mission has been diverted toward taking away breast-feeding babies from their mothers. that is inconsistent with the american way. todd: we have this caravan of people coming to the southern border again, seeking political asylum. a a -- a big story right now. they are in mexico. you say you do not approve of the family separation policy. how would you respond if the policy of taking children from
their parents and bringing them to florida continues? mr. desantis: andrew says there are no sanctuary cities in florida and that may be true but that may change if he is governor. he will support sanctuary cities. he says he will not cooperate with donald trump's i.c.e. that to me, is outrageous. i mean, he hates trump so much, and that is political posturing. if there is an i.c.e. detainer, so we can get a criminal in custody and send them home, he will not commit to cooperating. i will get that criminal out of our state and out of our country. why would you allow your dislike for the president to knowingly put communities at risk? to have mothers who may have their sons or daughters harmed by somebody? that is just wrong. we have to protect floridians first. todd: i give you more time. however, mr. gillum, 30 seconds for a rebuttal.
mr. gillum: he has far too many degrees not to get it. but yet again tonight, he shows that he does not get it. under no circumstance would i let someone who has committed a crime in our community and our state get away with the committal of a crime. they will be adjudicated through the normal judicial process and held fully responsible. but what we also said is that we are not going to criminalize people off of their personhood. simply because you are a brown-skinned person, or you speak a language that may be a foreign tongue, or in a neighborhood with more brown people, that does not in itself subject you to racial profiling. that is what he would be promoting. todd: 30 seconds. mr. desantis: he says if someone is here illegally, they should go through the justice system. obviously. what he will not commit to is once they have served that sentence, they are convicted of child molestation, state prison, are you going to hand them over to i.c.e. or not? he would not agree to that. that means that the child
molester gets released back on the streets after serving and guess what, that child molester will reoffend and someone's son or daughter in florida will end up paying the price. the truth hurts. mr. gillum: this is too important a claim. it is consistent with the way in which mr. desantis has run his campaign. and in my opinion, first of all, that would never happen. if you commit a crime like that, you will be deported from the united states. we will cooperate with any federal order that comes down into this state and into any county, because that is the law of the land. when you are governor, you have to level honestly with the people. you have ads on television that are completely false. how can we expect you to be honest with the people if you are not even honest on this stage? you are disqualified in my
opinion for the office of governor. [applause] mr. desantis: andrew is the one who lied to the people on sunday night about accepting a gift from an undercover fbi agent. [applause] 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 show he was lying and now he is trying to say that he apologizes. he is just apologizing because he got caught. 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 you want to talk about receipts, not a hamilton ticket, but of taxpayer money, why want $145,000 your release those
receipts? where is the evidence of where you went and how our money was spent to be a junket for you to go to new york and hang out with faux news and friends. mr. desantis: both andrew and i have received money to travel to washington. the difference is, i received mine legally and through my congressional office to travel for six years twice a week. 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.
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 speeches. among some of david harris's statements, " this country's only serious race war is against only serious race war is against whites." wait for the question, sir. it is not a macarthur game. 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 it was made -- 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 is the only way to do it in our country, it is something i
believe in and as governor and it will represent all the people. everyone will get a fair shake. but i will not bow down to the altar of political correctness. i will not let the media smear me like they do with a lot of people. i am certainly not going to take anything from andrew gillum who has endorsed bedroomed -- offenders, who said israel is an apartheid state. [applause] 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: my grandmother used to say, a hit dog will holler. [applause] and it hollered through this room. mr. desantis has spoken. first of all, he has a helping azis helping him out in the state. he has spoken at recess conferences. he has accepted a contribution from someone who referred to the president of the united states as a muslim -- i am simply saying the racists
believe he is a racist. [applause] 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 siding himself with the groups to attack our men and women in law enforcement, attack our military. he still would not disavow offenders. none of these things, he endorses offenders and they endorsed him, and that is wrong. [applause] 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.
under my leadership as the mayor of tallahassee, we hired 50 new 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. political fact had to correct him on that. 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. [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] [applause] 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 rent -- ranked the number one place to raise a family. that is a kind of city we live in. [applause] 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 is your position on the proposed constitutional
amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences? except for convicted murderers and 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 that they can be back in our community. it is also important, as a former prosecutor, we have dealt with law enforcement. i am 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 to families. i have stood with families who have had their lives turned upside down by bad people. i think we need to protect our
communities. i don't want to go down the road where crime is spiraling out of control. i want people to be able to earn their way back, but you have to earn it, you don't get it for free. [applause] todd: would you like to address the question back to mr. gillum? >> what is your position on the proposed constitutional amendment and if it doesn't pass, would you continue the or the oldolicy policy? 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 for these 1.7ate 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 it were to -- be able to reenter society and have your constitutional right to vote and work here in
the state, because if they don't have the opportunity to make a living for themselves, often times, people keep reoffending. todd: i want to go to the next question. >> during a cnn debate, you vowed "to hold those folks who are the biggest polluters accountable." the powerful sugar industry has often lobbied against environmental proposals in tallahassee. your longtime friend and advisor, sean pittman, lobbies on behalf of florida crystal, one of the largest sugar companies in the state. among other interests. you have also said you will not demonize the workers who rely on the sugar industry. how can voters trust the you -- that you will hold this powerful industry a carnival? -- 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 -- out there. the same week that donald trump pulled out of the paris accord, we begin work on a solar plant in my city.
tripping the amount of energy -- tripling the amount of energy produced. under the rick scott administration 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. florida voters, they need to know that when i run for governor, i will be a governor who believes in science. we will hold all the polluters, to include big sugar and big ag, but also to include the out-of-control development happening north of lake okeechobee, so we can get some real standards back into this state, and cleanup this blue-green algae that is flowing out of the state of florida. [applause] i will make that commitment. that is consistent with my values. todd: you have a follow-up. is that correct? santosestion for mr. the on the environment -- mr. desantis on the environment. you support the reservoir south
of lake okeechobee, which many experts believe will reduce discharges east and west. but it does not do anything to curb pollution going into the lake and the tributaries that end up in the lagoon. and the river. over the past five years, under the scott administration, we have seen a path of deregulation and deep cuts to water management districts. my question is, would you reverse that path of deregulation in florida? mr. desantis: i have a very strong environmental plan because the water is our lifeblood. we need to protect the water that floridians enjoy. it affects quality of life, health and safety. all the drinking water is affected by having clean water. restoring the everglades. our economy is affected. if you don't have clean water, we lose our status as a tourist destination. we could end up being a high tax states, because you don't get the revenue we need. my vision is very simple. people on the water management districts will not be a stooge of an industry, they will understand what is happening in those coastal communities. i will also have very good water standards. what goes in the lake is
important. here's the thing. i have the vision. you also need a leadership to get this done. i am the only candidate who fought big sugar and lived to tell about it. they came after me in my primary with millions of dollars. attacking me every which way. they called me everything but a child of god, and yet, i stuck to my principles. it is the right thing for florida. i will win the race and this will be a top priority for me. we will get this done. [applause] keep it to 30. mr. gillum: i think it is important that you measure people by what they have done, not just what they say. the saying goes, the proof is in the eating. you have to test it out. in mr. desantis's case, he ranked a number three out of 100 by environmental agencies in washington dc, based on his congressional record. i have friends who did worse in high school, and never got a 3. he is at the bottom when it comes to ranking. he has taken over a couple hundred thousand dollars from the biggest polluters in this state. mr. desantis will not stand up to big sugar or big polluters.
todd: thank you very much. i have a question for mr. desantis. the state passed new gun-control measures after the massacre of 17 people not far from here. marjorie douglas high school in parkland. you are on record that you would have the code that bill. why reject raising the age to 21 to buy a firearm in florida? why refuse to require the three-day waiting period? why not ban the sale of bump stocks which allow a rifle to mimic a machine gun? desantis: my wife and i have two young kids. safety, particularly in schools, is a top priority. i want kids to be safe so i will work with people like andy pollack who lost his daughter, and we are going to fix the problem of school security, and you can take that to the bank. i think the way to keep our communities safe is to work with law enforcement, not against law enforcement. you need to identify individuals who should not have access. the blanket ban is going to get
struck down in the courts. it is constitutionally enumerated. you always have to do it in a precise way. that is what i would do. focus on these people, make sure they are off the street. the problem i saw with parkland was a failure at multiple levels of government, the local level, the federal level and with the fbi. here we stand. nobody has been held accountable yet. when i am governor, we are going to bring accountability in. i'm going to make sure folks are held accountable when they dropped the ball. [applause] todd: would you have signed that bill? mr. gillum: what i would have done is push for a stronger bill. he should acknowledge he is endorsed by the nra, another entity of which he is holy accountable and owned by. when i took on the nra, they sued them, they drug me through court because i had an ordinance in the city which said it you could not shoot guns in city parks. it is not a threat to the second
amendment, if you want to own the power of god at your waist you are to have a ground check. , if you are domestic violence convicted, you should not own a gun that can snuff out the lies of your loved ones. we should have an expectation that we can pick kids up from school alive. todd: that is time. mr. desantis: he is the most hostile candidate to the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. he said he would ban, he had a criteria of what he would ban -- all handguns that are sold in the state of florida. he said we would get them off the street, which means that he would. he would not protect you rights. i stand with law-abiding citizens but public safety is going to be number one. we will work with law enforcement to make sure communities are safe. i don't want to see cities like tallahassee have record numbers of murders. mr. gillum: our proposal was simple. it is, if you want to shoot off a gun that can fire 60 bullets in 60 seconds, you ought to join the military. [applause] turning our streets, our
community, our neighborhoods and our schools into war zones is unacceptable. it is no coincidence that pulse nightclub would happen here. no coincidence that would happen at marjorie stoneman douglas and everyday violence that pervades communities in florida. we have to check the nra. they will not run roughshod over florida. there are common and decent solutions that we can employ to make that happen without offending the second amendment. [applause] todd: gentlemen, you are not going to believe this, but we have approached the time for closing statements. by draw, and i'm glad we have the time, you will get your time on this. by draw, your closing statement, mr. desantis, your closing statements go first. mr. desantis: i want to a -- acknowledge my wife casey. we have two kids under two years old, we are working hard and i love her and i could not do this without her. i am an iraq veteran, a former prosecutor, and i am on a mission to protect florida's future. we have to protect florida's
economic momentum. we can take it to the next level, we can grow jobs here, but you have to keep taxes low. you cannot go in a direction like andrew wants to go of tax increases. i will protect the environment floridians enjoy. we will solve the water quality problem. we will restore the everglades and will stop the toxic algae discharges, that is what we will do. that is who we are as floridians. i will also protect communities. that means working with law enforcement, not aligning with groups that are hostile to law enforcement. the police need to know we have their backs. they are risking their lives for us, the least we can do is stand by them. finally, i will make sure to do it with honor and integrity. as a naval officer, we always put honor, courage, and commitment first. i'm not a career politician, i am someone who has gotten into this and tried to stand by tax payers every step of the way. as governor i will stand with you, the hard-working taxpayers of florida and i will protect florida's future. [applause] todd: thank you. i want to make sure mr. gillum, you get all your time.
go ahead with your closing statement. mr. gillum: i will say thank you again for the evening. i have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have a conversation about the vision of the future of this state. as you all know, i am from miami, i grew up in an area called richmond heights. my mother and father both had blue-collar jobs. we would get up early and sleep a little bit longer at my grandparents' house before they would get us up and ready for the day. my grandmother had one ritual, she would anoint our head with oil, what she called blessing oil, to make sure we would be ok traveling through the day. she would say, go to school. mind your teachers. get your lesson and one day, bring it home. in trump's america, so many of us have forgotten we are in this together. the only way to climb higher and further is to be on our neighbor's necks. on their backs, and on suppressing their own potential. we have an opportunity on a november 6 to send a loud, unapologetic and convincing message that common sense and decency still prevail here in the state of florida.
i am proud to be the mayor of tallahassee, but i will greet you next as the next governor of the great state of florida. [applause] todd: gentlemen, i want to offer my personal thank you for being a part of this. i have 15 more questions, if you want to hang around, we could do another three hours. i want to thank both of you as public servants. for being here tonight and for participating in this. my heartfelt thanks to both of you for participating. [applause] and the audience, thanks to you as well. the audience has enjoyed this debate. make sure to vote, election day is november 6. i think it has been a great night for american democracy. good night. ♪
marshall college professor discusses political dynamics of pennsylvania and the washington dc mayor talks about issues facing the capital. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> some of live coverage thursday at 10 a.m., a discussion on election jaundice facing states in midterms and beyond. live debates. joe manchin debating the republican candidate, patrick morrissey at 7 p.m. on c-span. 8:00 p.m. in new york 22nd congressional district, the incumbent facing a democratic challenger. on c-span2, larry kudlow on small business issues live at 9:30 p.m. on minority voter turnout expected in elections next week.
president trump is in columbia, missouri at a rally, live at 7:30 p.m. coverage of the national arab conference continues on c-span3 at 1:30 p.m. covering the impact death, andashoggi's issues impacting oil prices. >> president trump campaigned for republican candidates at a rally in florida. a couple candidate spoke included former congressman ron desantis who is running for governor and current governor rick scott, who is running for senate. this is little less than an hour. >> ♪ i am proud to be an american, where at least i know i'm free. and i won't forget the men who