The Florida Governor’s Mansion. Credit: The Official Site of the People’s House of Florida; FL Dept. of Management Services
The gubernatorial primary campaign debate between U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried hasn’t even been broadcast yet, but the Fried camp is already spinning the outcome.
NBC’s Miami station and Telemundo stations in select Florida cities plan to air the contest beginning at 7 p.m. EDT but taped it in Miami during the afternoon.
Soon following the taping, the Fried campaign issued a press release seeking to raise donations against the event.
“I just got off stage after the one and only debate Charlie Crist agreed to do — and now, we know why,” reads a statement issued over Fried’s signature.
“The debate won’t air until 7 p.m. tonight on NBC and Telemundo, but I can tell you right now that it will make two things clear: There’s only ONE candidate in this race with a NEW vision for Florida. There’s only ONE candidate in this race who can beat Ron DeSantis,” it continues.
Another release arrived including a written statement attributed to campaign press secretary Caroline Korba.
“Nikki Fried showed she is qualified, proven, and ready to take on Ron DeSantis while Charlie Crist was defensive, condescending, and disconnected,” it reads.
“The people of Florida can watch and decide, but this debate showed why Charlie has backed out of every single debate but this one. His record is too embarrassing to defend. His support is a mile wide and an inch deep and only getting shorter. Meanwhile, a wave of support is building for Nikki Fried. The story out of this debate is this: Charlie Crist can’t handle Nikki Fried. And he certainly can’t handle Ron DeSantis.”
Fried, an attorney, serves as the only Democrat holding statewide elective office. Crist is a former Republican governor, Attorney General and Education Commissioner who won election to Congress as a Democrat.
He hasn’t offered any debate spin yet, but said in a tweet, “I’m thrilled to share my plans on how we’re going to build a Florida that works for everyone & win this November.”
His campaign did promote an 8 p.m. EDT news conference featuring United Teachers of Dade Karla Hernández-Mats, former state Rep. Sean Shaw, and former Planned Parenthood CEO Barbara Zdravecky discussing “Crist’s dominating debate performance.”
The Republican National Committee chimed in via a press release comparing both Democrats’ records unfavorably to the Republican incumbent, Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“While Fried and Crist argue over who loves Joe Biden more, Floridians already have a real leader in the governor’s mansion,” committee spokeswoman Julia Friedland said in the release.
Check local listings to watch on TV, or turn to the digital platforms for NBC 6 and Telemundo (in Spanish), including NBC6.com, the NBC6 app, Telemundo51.com and the Telemundo 51 app.
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