MIAMI, Fla. - Tempers flare as Alex Sink and Rick Scott square-off in their first televised debate taped at Univision. Republican Rick Scott pitched himself as a fresh start. "My opponent is a Tallahassee Insider. She's had her four years," Scott said.
Democrat Alex Sink, the state's Chief Financial Officer, wanted to make honesty the issue saying, "You ran a business that was charged with the most massive fraud in the history of the country."
Scott was not charged but was ousted from his former health care company, Columbia/HCA and it paid $1.7 billion in fines for medicare fraud. "We could have done a much better job, making sure there were no mistakes with medicare filings," Scott said.
Sink sarcastically made note of Scott's 7-7-7 plan to try and create 700,000 jobs in seven years, saying he has lived in Florida barely 7 years, and she added, "Take the 5th amendment 75 times so you won't incriminate yourself. And thirdly, spend $70 million of your own money so you can catapult yourself right into the governor's office. That is your 7-7-7 plan."
The heat was on under the studio lights. "If you want to talk about fraud, why do you allow convicted felons to sell insurance in the state?" Scott asked.
Sink denied that her office has done anything outside the law. "None of this is true and I have to trust the people of Florida to understand my opponent is lying," Sink said.
They battled over endorsements and fought over health care. Sink called Scott "out of touch" with Floridian's suffering.
"One in four Floridians has no health insurance," Sink said.
"Her plan is she is an Obama liberal, so she will back all of Obama's policies including his health care bill," Scott said.
After the debate, Sink complained Scott snuck prepared notes in - against the rules.
As for Rick Scott, he was a no show in front of reporters leaving former Governor Jeb Bush to make his pitch. "I'm voting for him because I think we need an outside the box thinker to get our economy back on track," Bush said.
Scott and Sink will debate at least two more times before the November 2nd election.