Bill McCollum, Rick Scott Face Off In Debate

debateEditor’s Note – With time running out, and his campaign woefully short of funds, McCollum may have missed an opportunity to truly seperate himself from Rick Scott in yesterday’s debate.

With a least one more shot with an upcoming second debate, the window is closing quickly for McCollum.  There was an agreed upon third debate, however, it’s still up in the air.

Down in the polls and time working against him, what can McCollum do to change the momentum in this race?

Bill McCollum, Rick Scott Face Off In Debate

By Beth Reinhard
Miami Herald

Down in the polls and running out of time and money, Bill McCollum desperately needed a game-changing moment in Monday’s debate with his surging rival for governor, Rick Scott.

It never came, though McCollum delivered a more polished performance in the first of only two matchups between the leading Republican candidates before the Aug. 24 primary.

In the noon debate aired later in Spanish by Univisión stations in Miami, Orlando and Tampa, the two men sparred about a wide range of issues beyond the Hispanic community. From healthcare to the economy to education, they slammed each other’s reputation again and again during the hourlong match.

Among McCollum’s best moments came when he took Scott to task for his role as the embattled chief executive officer of Columbia/HCA. Referring to the hefty stock Scott received after being ousted as CEO amid a massive Medicare scandal, McCollum sneered, “`Rick let’s get serious. You said you took responsibility, but the only thing you took was $300 million. You took it from seniors, you took it from veterans, you took it from the sick.”

It was a zinger — not a knockout blow.

For his part, Scott awkwardly suggested that he had embraced the Hispanic community by learning to drink cortaditos and eat late dinners, but he did not commit any major gaffes. Not bad for a guy who had never participated in a debate before in his life, up against a sitting Florida Cabinet member who entered politics in the Reagan revolution.

McCollum served in Congress for two decades before he was elected state attorney general in 2006. He ran twice unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

“This is what a career politician does,” Scott said, referring to McCollum’s attacks. “My opponent is desperate.”

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