Gillum, DeSantis bash each other in first debate

Florida's culture clash pits Gillum against Trump voters

President Trump calls Tallahassee one of USA's "worst & most corrupt cities"

Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis was asked on Sunday night if he thought Donald Trump, who endorsed him, was a good role model for children.

That dynamic was in full display in the segment excerpted above. It was broadcast nationwide by CNN with network news anchor Jake Tapper moderating.

Gillum, who has called for the impeachment of Trump, appeared to be amused by the question. Gillum has not yet filed his 2017 return because he asked for an extension.

"The question was whether or not he thinks President Trump is a good role model for the children of Florida". "No, he's not. Donald Trump is weak, and he performs as all weak people do".

Watch the clip above courtesy of CNN.

"Vote today for Ron DeSantis for Governor, your personal safety - and your families' safety - depends on it".

"I will sign a bill to take care of people with pre-existing conditions", he said, before pivoting to jab repeatedly at Gillum's support for "Medicare for all" single-payer health care. He even goes on to say that Gillum will "destroy Florida".

To explain his candidacy, Gillum said, "I'm here this evening standing for anybody who has ever been told that they don't belong, that they didn't come from the right background or the right pedigree".

Gillum said that despite his disgust for Trump's behavior, he wouldn't turn down help from the president if it helped Florida. Gillum called DeSantis a Trump "stooge" and said the former Congressman has "no relationship with the truth". He has gone out of his way before he quit his job in Congress to protect Donald Trump, curb the inquiry by Mr. [Robert] Mueller, he has gone so far as to suggest that some deep state is at work to undermine the president.

"He [Gillum] even signed a pledge to cut police funding and support a group that says, 'police and prisons have no place in justice, ' that 'police were never meant to serve us.' It's risky", Kazanjian says.

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During Sunday night's debate, the two candidates also sparred over their environmental credentials, with Gillum calling DeSantis "an election-year environmentalist" and DeSantis saying he has battle scars that prove he is willing to stand up to his party on the issue.

Gillum, who has the backing of the Sierra Club, called the Republican "an election year environmentalist".

Gillum has repeatedly said that Federal Bureau of Investigation told him he was not a focus of the probe, which centers on the relationships between developers and lobbyists in the state capital, including one with longstanding connections to Gillum.

DeSantis also hammered Gillum about an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into public corruption in Tallahassee.

DeSantis responded with this: "Despite what he wants you to believe, Andrew Gillum has a record of supporting projects that would wreak havoc on Florida's environment. I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do, but I've worked hard for everything that I've gotten in my life".

But Gillum pushed back, saying DeSantis "let us know exactly where he was going to take this race the day after the election" with the "monkey up" comment. After Gillum supported the proposal, U.S. Sen.

On race: Gillum reminded DeSantis race indeed was an issue in the race and mentioned a controversial remark in which DeSantis said voters would "monkey this up" if they elected his African-American opponent.

"We can build Florida's economy simply by extending access to health care and guess what?"

Gillum flinched a bit, not defending the program which is a non-starter in Florida and most states around the country, instead seeking to talk up his plans to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

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