After a two-week delay due to Hurricane Ian, Monday night’s gubernatorial faceoff between GOP Governor Ron DeSantis and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist finally put the two candidates in the same room —and it was explosive.
One of the night’s most memorable exchanges took place when Charlie Crist attempted to cast doubt on DeSantis’ reelection plans by broaching his 2024 presidential ambitions; DeSantis quickly countered.
“I know that Charlie’s interested in talking about 2024 and Joe Biden, but I just what to make things very, very clear. The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
Watch the clip above.
The debate also got heated when the issue of gender transition surgery for minors came up, with Crist defending and DeSantis opposed.
“When they say gender-affirming care, they mean giving puberty blockers to teenage girls and teenage boys, they mean doing double mastectomies on young girls, they mean chemically castrating young boys. That is wrong. We are not going to allow that to happen in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said when the candidates were asked by the moderator where they stood on “gender-affirming medical procedures and therapies.”
“We’re doing the right thing. It’s inappropriate to be doing basically what’s genital mutilation,” he later added.
Crist fired back, bringing the topic of abortion into the discussion.
“This reminds me of your position on a woman’s right to choose. You think you know better than any physician, any doctor, or any woman in a position to make decisions about their own personal health. You want to be the judge. You want to decide about what people should do with their own physical being, with the betterment of their health, with whether or not they want to make sure that they can practice their right to choose as a woman. That’s just not right. I don’t believe in that,” he said.
“You don’t have the temperament to be kind and decent to other people who don’t look like you, who don’t act like you, and don’t contribute to you. We’re all children of God, and that doesn’t mean that you’re the one who’s supposed to judge about what other people are supposed to do, particularly women, with their body,” Crist added.
DeSantis was ready with a rebuttal.
“If you’re a 15-year-old, you can’t go get a tattoo in the state of Florida, yet we’re saying you could get a double mastectomy? Of course not. It is inappropriate to do this for minors, and in Florida, we’re not going to allow that to happen here,” he said.
“You do support it for minors. I mean, you should just be honest with people about that,” he then told Crist.
We’re only two weeks out from the election; DeSantis has been comfortably ahead in the polls.
More from Fox News:
Florida debate: DeSantis vows to put Crist ‘out to pasture’ as Democrat defends gender surgeries for minors https://t.co/SH5Ni5dITL
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 25, 2022