Miami – Republican Ron DeSantis, current governor of Florida and candidate for re-election, and his rival, Democrat Charlie Crist, held a debate on Monday that showed their opposing views on issues such as immigration or abortion protections.
In addition, DeSantis avoided answering whether he will run in the 2024 presidential election.
In the only face-to-face meeting between the two candidates prior to the midterm elections on November 8, held in Fort Pierce, in southeastern Florida, DeSantis did not respond when the Democratic candidate asked him on more than one occasion if he is going to serve his four-year term as governor if he is re-elected.RELATED
The doubt is related to his name being called as a possible Republican candidate in the 2024 general elections, but DeSantis never spoke directly during a debate that had a very excited audience, more typical of a rally than a television event.
The governor went to the debate supported by the wide advantage given by the voting intention polls, in the last of which he leads the Democrat by eleven percentage points, and hence Crist’s direct attacks, seeking to reverse that trend of vote.
The favoritism towards DeSantis is reflected even among Hispanics in the state, a segment where he is ahead by seven points, largely thanks to the vote of Cuban-Americans, according to a survey commissioned by Telemundo/LX News.
Therefore, DeSantis was not in a hurry to sweeten controversial acts such as the shipment in September of some fifty undocumented Venezuelans from San Antonio, Texas, to the seaside resort of Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, a transfer paid for with more than 600,000 dollars from state coffers and which has led to at least three lawsuits.
“What we did was put this issue on the front line of discussion,” said the governor in the debate moderated by CBS journalist Liz Quirantes, where he said that “millions and millions” of undocumented immigrants cross the southern border of the United States, a crisis that linked to the trafficking of fentanyl into the country.
Crist, who today described the transfer as “a horrible political stunt”, in the past called for a federal investigation to determine the legality of this shipment of undocumented immigrants, given that the payment for air transportation came from an item of 12 million dollars. approved by the state legislature for the transport of irregular immigrants who were in the state.
“You like to divide,” said the Democrat, who at another time accused the governor of politicizing education with laws, such as the prohibition during his term of talking about gender identity in the state’s public schools up to third grade.
The Democrat, who was governor of Florida (2007-2011) as a member of the Republican Party, defined himself as “the unity candidate” and alluded in various sections to achievements during his government.
After assuring in the past that if he won the election he would immediately sign an executive decree to protect abortion in Florida, Crist today defended that women have the right to choose.
On June 24, the United States Supreme Court ended the right to abortion established in the Roe vs. Wade of 1973, which established legal and constitutional protection at the federal level for women who wanted to voluntarily terminate pregnancy, a historic ruling that now leaves its legislation in the hands of state governments.
DeSantis promoted and signed a bill that restricts abortion in this state after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions that do not include cases of rape or incest, and after the Supreme Court’s decision, he promised that his government would work to ” expand pro-life protections.”
Questioned tonight about what week abortion should be banned, given that Republican governors in other states are leaning towards a total ban, the governor did not answer the question and was proud of the measure he carried out in Florida.
The debate was held about two weeks before the mid-term elections, in which congressional and senatorial seats are renewed at the federal and state levels, in addition to other public positions such as state governors.
Likewise, as in many other parts of the country, this Monday early voting began in several Florida counties, on a day in which, according to official figures, so far more than 1.1 million Floridians have already voted and sent their voter registration card. by mail.