With various polls showing that the race for Florida's governor to be perhaps the closest in the nation, Alex Sink and Rick Scott engaged in a crucial prime time debate on Wednesday night from Nova Southeastern College.
Rick Scott had very little specifics to offer, other than his famed "7-7-7" economic plan, but he made certain to label Sink a "Tallahassee insider and Obama liberal," whereas he called himself an outsider with a lot of life experiences.
Those magic words could be good enough to send Scott to Tallahassee to become that insider he has inveighed against since he entered the governor's race last spring.
The hour-long forum began with the candidates being asked how they would attempt to revive the state's stagnant economy. Sink said specifically she would call for giving tax cuts to businesses who agree to hire more Floridians. She did not exactly say how she would bring new industries to the state, another tenet she says is part of her main plan.
Although Scott has plenty of (controversial) specifics in his plan to create 7 million jobs in 7 years, he was equally vague in saying that the state, with all of its natural and government-led resources (no state income tax, his plan to eliminate the business tax, the beaches, etc.) should be number one in the country for job creation.
When the candidates were asked what they plan to cut to deal with next year's budget deficit, which is estimated at around $2.5 billion, Sink said she plans to cut $700 million by eliminating middle management jobs, and also try to find savings through finding Medicaid fraud.
Scott then cranked up his assortment of prepared attacks by asking what taxes would Sink raise, since she intends to cut $700 million. Sink called that charge outlandish, saying, "Rick, we can't trust anything you say, you've been throwing mud and negative ads, and your charges are outlandish," further labeling his charge a "fairy tale fabrication."
The attacks really started flying at that point.
On several occasions Scott chastised Sink for failing to respond to a letter sent by Scott ally Mike Haridopolos, the incoming Senate president, on how she planned to pay for her proposed programs. "What is the number you're proposing," Scott called out. "Obama math is not going to work here. What tax will you increase?"
That led Sink to get off one of the best laughs of the night, saying, "I don't know what Obama math is. I was a 4.0 math major at Wake Forest, and I know how to add."