tv Campaign 2022 Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Debate CSPAN July 25, 2022 12:33pm-1:34pm EDT
coverage on c-span today. the white house gives an update on president biden's health after he tested positive for covid-19 last week. we will hear from white house press secretary and covid-19 response team coordinator. that's at 3:10 p.m. eastern. later at five eastern former vice president mike pence lays out his policy agenda. the discussion is being hosted by the heritage foundation in washington, d.c. watch live today on c-span, on the free c-span now video app, or online at c-span.org. >> next, the two candidate for the democratic nomination in florida's 2022 gubernatorial race, representative charlie crist and florida agriculture commissioner nikki friede participate in a debate hosted
by miami's nbc6 and telemundo 51. the winner of the august 23 primary were going to face the incumbent republican governor ron desantis in the 2022 general election. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [speaking spanish] >> and jackie nespral main anchor for increasing six news and south florida and host of the weekly political show impact. [speaking spanish] >> translator: -- to the democracy for this bilingual debate telemundo 51 any b6 are joined by a florida telemundo
partner station in west palm beach, orlando, tampa, fort myers and naples. [speaking spanish] >> translator: it is a big honor. >> were welcome to our studio charlie crist, congressional representative for district 13 in the tampa-st. petersburg area florida, and nikki fried, agriculture commissioner for florida.
born and raised in miami, nikki fried graduate with a law degree from university of florida in 2003. she has practiced various forms of law including the closure defense, corporate and also as a public defender. in 2017 she formed her own law firm advocating for at risk children and access to medical marijuana. she was elected in 2018 as florida's 12th commissioner of agriculture. she described herself as a passionate activist. >> now we will present the candidates. >> the candidates that have prior access to the question and the questions are the same for both. they candidates will each have 90 seconds to respond each question. the candid answering the question first will have 30 seconds for rebuttal. at the end of the debate each
candidate will have two minutes for closing remarks. >> the order in which each tenant will respond to the question and exposed her final argument been determined by a poll that was done before the debate. >> commissioner, i begin with you with the topic that is affecting all of us, and that of course is the economy and inflation which in a past u.s. hit floridians very hard in their wallets. gas prices, groceries and more are affecting us on her everyday life. that the year-to-year inflate is 9%. that we haven't seen in 40 years. what specific plans do you propose to floridians? >> first of all thank you. thank you for hosting tonight and, of course, that he was picked or answer your question or to take an opportunity to
introduce myself to the fuse because unfortunately they've only had, what won't have one debate. i was born here in miami. my mom was a teacher. my dad and his republican, don't worry, we pray a lot for him. the things he taught me, always stand up for what i believed income always stand up for justice, always making sure that i followed my heart, followed by passion. that's why after this debate you will see that we only have one choice, the candidate that has been pro-life her entire life. the candidate who is never taken a single dollar from the nra. someone who was one statewide. look, charlie and i both want to make ron desantis a one term governor but i'm the only one who can make that happen. we have been hearing these stories all across the state of florida. people can't afford their rent, they can't afford to mortgages, can't afford their food, being kicked out of their homes. on day one i'm declaring a housing emergency because that is exactly what it is. that way gives me the opportunity to allow our state
attorney, our attorney general to start going after our predatory landlords because that's what it is. it is greed, pure greed. i was a one asked asked the government to issue a state of emergency on gas because we have to be doing everything possible to help the floridians here in the state of florida. >> congressman. can be useful floridians to put a roof over their head and it
isn't just for by hope ricketts also for renting an apartment. this issue is so critical i've got to share with you personally i as a of congress had an apartment in washington. it was cheaper than a one bedroom apartment i had in st. petersburg, florida, my home. just to illustrate how difficult this is, but number two radically working with our federal friends. marcia fudge one of my former colleagues in the congress is the secretary of housing and urban develop it. she can help us. i work with the biden administration instead of governor desantis who beats on them every day. cooperation working together is very important for your benefit and finally at the local level in housing. ken welch is my new mayor. our first african-american mayor. i'm very proud of that fact. he's offered about $70 million to help. the gas tax should've been cut months ago. i told governor desantis to do it last november. he didn't. he politically ridiculously is putting off any reduction in that until october by before the election. you deserve better than that. >> we will have to leave it
there. >> thank you charlie for correcting i was talking about you being pro-life your entire life including still today. i have been pro-choice my entire life and of so glad you brought up the portable trust fund that when you were governor you got it the fund, affordable trust fund in the tune of over 500 $534 million. you wonder why with the housing problem today it's not only because he would also rick and ron and jeff are the same thing. we have housing problem today because of your failed leadership. >> may have respond? -- abandon the state of florida declaring bankruptcy. that counsel coverages and they had cancel renewals of the policies to millions of owners. those special station at creating an governor ron desantis and the problem is
not stopping there. what are you proposing to be able to face this crisis? >> let me stress what nikki said. she talked about the fund. i was governor during the great recession. we had to make hard choices. i made them and we saved 20,000 teachers their jobs on and very proud of that fact. being governor is a big job and it takes people who are ready to make big decisions. i've done it, i'll do it again. let me talk about property insurance. when i was governor before i call the special session on property insurance that help consumers. we reduced rates by 10%. what is ron desantis done? zero picky called a special session. he did you anything. he actually with his republican colleagues made it more difficult for florida consumers to get with insurance companies. is not on the side of the people turkeys running for president of the united states picky cares only about his future and more about the white house than your house. that's why we need a change.
that's why on november 8 i hope we get a democrat elected that serves as your governor and we need that because we need to have somebody who cares about people. i always have and always will. >> commissioner? >> as i travel the entire state, i don't have to be telling you this. you know you can't afford your property insurance big you are saying insurance policies being dropped, all of the copies going out of business but, unfortunately, the republican party has done nothing to help you. they had waited time and time again. what i would do is first and foremost that to put together a committee that looks at all of the concrete issues that can be changed making sure we're getting rid of frivolous lawsuits, make sure we taking care fraud inside evs because that happens every single day that is increasing premiums. to increase the power of the insurance commissioner, excuse me, insurance consumer advocate. they are supposed to be there for your not the insurance
company make sure we're protecting the people. charlie was governor when we saw an increase of amount of cases that went into citizens. charlie manipulate the market and made sure the insurance companies that he chose the trial bar over the insurance companies, not over the people. by manipulating the market he made sure that we have crisis today, the policies he put into place when he was governor is why we have an insurance problem here today. charlie you are right there was a recession during that time but instead of going after corporations and closing loopholes during a time, you took away money that should have gone to affordable housing, instead you make sure people were suffering today because of decisions you made as governor. >> may i respond? gracias, thank you very much. when i was governor had a great recession. i don't know of anybody who is that was something like that as governor of florida in modern times at all but i did it. as i said we say 20,000 school
teachers their jobs. we say law enforcement jobs all over the state. we made make sure we have firefighters still under watch because i had the courage to work with president obama and make sure we did what was right for the people of florida. >> the next question involve something you of all we can pro-life versus pro-choice. so let's talk about abortion. with the u.s. supreme court overturning roe v. wade abortion rights are now up to the states to decide. you both have voiced opposition to the states new law banning abortions at 15 weeks and after. the previous debt law banned abortions at the age of viability roughly 24 weeks. what limits to abortion access, if any, do you support and a post-roe florida? >> thank you for this very important question. because this question is the greatest difference between myself, charlie and ron. i have been pro-choice my entire life. i have made sure i stood on the side of women. charlie cannot say the same thing. is been pro-life his entire life
including today. including that when he had the chance when he was governor he appointed the most radical extremist into the supreme court. do you want to know why a right to privacy is going to be overturned in the state of florida? it's because of decisions charlie made when he was governor. i would never let that happen. i will make sure on day one where declaring a state of emergency that allows me to make sure money was i coming down for a state attorneys to prosecute or women. we have to fight now. we have to make sure our rights are being protected. and charlie when you campaign for governor and when you can tune for most of your career,, you were pushing for amendments in support of legislation that would have been an outright ban on abortions. that is unacceptable in a fight today. this is your legacy. when women die here in the state of florida, that is on you and you have to live with that every
single day. i will make sure we continue to push for constitutional amendments to expand their right to privacy, that we are going to lose. you and me because of charlie's decision when he was governor. >> you know that's just not true and you shouldn't say those kinds of things because you're trying to muddy at that. let's understand what's going on. you're losing this campaign. it's time for desperation and now it's on full display all over the state of florida and i'm sorry to see that. let me talk about what i believe. i had been pro-choice. every action i've taken as an elected official has been pro-choice. hacked to when i was a state senator i killed an antiabortion bill in committee when i i vod no and it was three -three tie vote telling it in committee never going to the floor of the senate. as your governor i vetoed an antiabortion bill. i done it and i'll do it again. as a member of congress i have a 100% rating by planned parenthood and has let people
like alex sink have endorsed my campaign. central florida has endorsed my campaign. barbara the former president of planned parenthood of florida has endorsed by campaign. nicky, they are not long. they are right, you are wrong. i am right for women. i am right for pro-choice. i have always done it. i always will. thank you. >> will you of any limits to abortion access? >> the question is what limits. the question is white why do republicans like ron desantis not honor and respect a woman tried to choose? that's the issue would you do with. let's back up and understand what's at stake. a woman's right to choose is at stake, i'm for it and i will fight for it. >> commission? >> i'm not going to let your rewrite history. that is not accurate. i need the people to understand he did veto a piece of legislation after he left the republican party, not because he saw the light the because you saw the pulse. he vetoed the legislation to take away votes what would have been our first black u.s.
senator in the state of florida. we as women cannot have a chance to have brett kavanaugh in the governor's office. >> may i respond to that briefly? >> there is one rebuttal, so we cannot. >> i cannot? >> your time -- governor ron desantis signed the law of the right to paired in education. that's a lot that prohibits the discussion about the identity and sexual orientation in the classrooms up to third grade. they called this law -- how would you protect the group lgbt that they feel vulnerable and in danger? >> this is just another example of governor ron desantis picking up groups to try to divide our state, tear it apart
and further his ascension to the republican nomination for president in 2024. 2024. what would i do? i would repeal the don't say gabriel. it is punishing on lgbtq to think it's been chastised in school. i was told by a guidance counselor and broward county that the incidence of suicide watch students has gone through the roof lately as result of this legislation. it's awful. it cannot stand. we have to have a governor who will try to bring us together again instead of divide florida like ron desantis has torn florida port. we did the governor wants to care about the people of our state, not the people in iowa or new hampshire were going to be voting in 2024 for the republican nominee for president. that's what you deserve. that's what we are to be focused on. that's why i'm running for governor is to fight for you, to fight for women, to fight for student come to fight for teachers, to fight for our environment. >> commission? >> i tell the story very often that when i was in high school
my step brother came out to me. he didn't know who else to turn to. luckily i was there. i can't imagine that children today being in an environment when you don't feel accepted,, when you don't feel loved, they have no one to turn to. this piece of legislation with the one purpose and one purpose only, to divide our state, to create hate and the end result is i talked to students, parents, teachers viewer. right now our teachers some of them that may be in same-sex marriages can't even bring a picture of their spouse into the classroom. what happens to the little boy who can't draw a picture of their two mom's? that is a result of this asinine piece of legislation that needs to be reversed but also we need somebody who he can trust to get it done. charlie, for most of his career, campaigned on traditional marriage, that he went and made sure we didn't have, that we had
a constitutional amendment that didn't protect same-sex marriage or same-sex adoptions. that is what we are dealing with today. so many things are on the line. we need to make sure we have a true democrat, someone who cannot only beat ron desantis, that i've been doing for four and half years and i will continue to do it once after we get through this primary and we go head-to-head to ron desantis. >> can you respond? >> thank you very much. you want a democrat you can trust and you deserve one. and you can trust charlie crist. listen, i was in republican party and then the tea party rose and it is only metastasize since. i have common sense. i have values i live by, trust, honor, decency, kindness. mickey talks about the fact she doesn't think i've been such a great democrat. it was only four years ago you decided to support ashley moody the republican nominee for attorney general of florida,
gave her a check for $2000 that help defeat sean shaw and now it is that attorney general of florida that you supported who was trying to make sure when you don't get a by going to the supreme court. do you want somebody you can trust? it's me. >> the next question surrounds we've been witnessing the sentencing phase of the parkland shooter which happened here in south florida. gun reform laws have proven to be difficult to get through the legislature. in the wake of the parkland shooting florida passable something to prevent a similar tragedy. we talk about the red flag laws and raising the age to 21 to purchase most firearms. that went into place. what else if anything do you think needs to be passed and can be passed in the state of florida? when i ran in 2018 i made a promise to you. i made a promise that when i was elected commissioner of agriculture that only would i take the nra out of my office, not take money from them or prop up their endorsement but that's exactly what i did.
i came in on day one major anybody had thorough and complete background check. make sure i look for loopholes inside of my administration and then i stood side-by-side with the parkland families come with legislators pushing for initiative such as universal background checks on ammunition, making sure we made an illegal gun shows can make a show loophole was closed are also making sure we got rid of the ghost guns in our state. there's so much more we can do that's why i have bracelets. my are for bullets for life the remind me every single day who i fight for and why i fight. so i would support making sure not only are we passing making sure no ghost guns, making sure we create new safety measures and mechanisms for safe storage of her guns and without a doubt we must get those assault weapons off our streets. every single one of these mass shootings that we have seen is because of those assault
weapons. i am somebody has been in the trench. been here fighting on these issues. i have not somebody who again takes money from the nra. i have gotten a rating or most of his career. i kicked the nra out of my office. that is what i will continue to do as your next governor. >> i think it's interesting nikki talks about banning assault weapons. she had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign a ban on assault weapons. a little over a week ago she says she's been there the whole time? that's not true. what i've done is called for the banning of assault weapons for a very long time and in addition to that make sure with background checks that actually check backgrounds. and it's good with red flag laws in florida but we need the nationwide. that's why i'm sponsoring legislation in the congress today to do just that. if you have some incident in savannah, georgia, because they'll have read flag law would have you recommended jacksonville that's why we need uniformity and to make it
better. the nra, i have an f from the nra and i'm proud of it. as a member of the united states congressman crist for six years representing tampa bay in a district that it not been held by a democrat since 1955 until i ran come you want somebody who can win in november, its charlie crist, common sense on guns, doing what's right for women,, protecting your right to choose. thank you very much. >> your response. >> it took you 30 years to get here. i decided to not want to put my fingerprints on pledges in general. when my friend david hogg called it said this is important to me, i signed it. not because it took me 40 years to get to this position but i don't believe in signing pledges. when david called and said this is a born i made sure that it was done. i've always been here. that can never be disputed.
>> congressman, -- sense of the author of the massacre in the parkland school that left 17 people dead. are you in favor of sentence -- in perpetual sins are destined? >> this is a horrible crime that occurred in parkland. and those lies that have been lost, it's unconscionable that that would occur. what we need to do of what only i have done on this stage is sign death sentences. hardest thing to do as governor, in my opinion. but if ever there was a case where that is warranted it is this case. it is such a heinous crime, so, so cruel, so inhumane, it is absolutely unconscionable and you have to have consequences when you series crime like this. this is a time, this is a moment for that. he should get the death penalty for sure.
>> commissioner? >> i have spent a lot of time with the parkland parents, the families, with the kids. i was from broward at the time and i saw their grief. this is not an easy decision for a judge, for a jury to make. as a past public defender i was a public defenders office for three and half years. i saw how many times we got things wrong, and how many times where to go back and make corrections through trials. the death penalty is one of the circumstances that there has to be no disputable evidence for somebody has either been actually, again there is no disputable evidence. i talked to my friends and i asked what did you want? what you want to see happen? originally he told me he wanted to see this guy rot in jail for the rest of his life. but he has changed.
listen to what the parents want, what they are going through, and at the end of it he said nikki, i want this guy gone. and so for my friend, bread, and all the other parkland families out there, i stand united with you and i stand united and hope that the judge and the jury do the right thing and put this guy to death. >> mr. tonko's, you have anything to explain about it were something to add to this question? >> i really don't. we feel the same way on this issue and i respect that. >> and so i will welcome at this time our colleague, a hose from the orlando station representing central florida. go ahead. thank you very much. >> my first question will be directed to you, ms. commissioner. we talk about the subject
>> he said i have no choice but to leave. i'm hearing those stories all over our state from hard-workingfloridians, some of them have to work two jobs to make ends meet. people will have to leave our state . republicans for decades have been bringing more to more people into our state with no plan of action and that's why on day one i'm going to be declaring a housing emergency because if you cannot put a roof over your head , if you can't make sure your families are taken care of and we are seeing democracy american dream slipped through our fingers . we also need to make sure we are looking at other ways to work with local governments to create local plans, to build moreaffordable homes . again the sadowski trust fund has been gutted and $2.4 billion, can you imagine how many more homes have been builtduring that time? that is a promise to make sure more money is going back into affordable trust funds to the expanding amount of homes being built here in the state of florida . >> thank you very much commissioner, congressman.
>> thank you for representing central florida.this is one of the most important issues facing ourstate and the reason is thecurrent governor doesn't care . he really wants to tear florida park , attacking lgbtq, black floridians, taking a congressional districts that are minority represented from our lawson in central florida. it's unconscionable. we need a governor laser focus on doing what's right, making sure we have housing funds available to make sure floridians can keep a roof over their head. one way to do that is to make sure the property insurance rates come down. when i was governor my first term i held a special session shortly after i was sworn in to try to bring down property insurance rates which are skyrocketing right now under this governor because he's in the pocket of the insurance companies. i never was. i was attorney general before that and i thought embedded.
what utility companies the same way and what i did with that special session, we lowered property insurance by 10 percent . i'll do it again . >> commissioner, would you like to respond? >> again i love how charlie likes to relate history. that during a time when we were going through a recession we saw insurance going through the roof. but what she did was manipulated the market but more and more of those policies in citizens would have created a catastrophic event if we had been hit by hurricanes during that time . he chose the trial lawyers over the insurance companies so he made a choice and the choice wasn't you and today we're dealing with issues because of policies you put in place when he was governor. >> thank you commissioner. my next question will be to director transects. the government took measurements a little bit later after the company expressed the position to the law known as don't say day
law. most of them saw that that could impact the county of osceola and orange in the area of orlando. what is the solution you propose . >> the solution is to get rid of the law. you revealed don't say day and one of the companies you're talking about unbelievably is waltdisney world . they dared to voice their opinion as we're all guarantee in the united states constitution and the first amendment, the right to free speech and because they dared to do that against governor desantis he wants to punish them so is already having an impact in central florida. walt disney world was going to send 2000 jobs from california to florida and they decided to pause that because this governor ismore concerned about the white house as i said before then your house . amazing. let me talk about nikki saying i'm rewriting history. i'm not rewriting anything, i'm telling facts and facts are stubborn things . she knows it this is a real problem. we're in a democratic primary
but both of us want to unseat governor desantis. if you're going to do that we have to work together and stop tearingdown your fellow democrats and do what's right to win this election . i'll pledge if you win the primary i'llendorse you that night, i hope you'll do the same for me now . >> commissioner, your response to the questions. >> the last 3 and a half years i've been standing up against ron desantis. i was the first one in 2020 after an atrocious legislative session to call him a dictator because that's what he is . he's hurt people's rights to protest, right to vote. going after our school board and now he's going after our business communities. look what he did in south florida going after the cruise line industry because they dared to take care of you , the passengers and then when disney exercise their freedom of speech he went after them too. who's next mark you?
that's what i said up against this bully every single day and i've been doing it 3 and a half years. that's what it means to have a fighter in the selection. a fighter in this rain and yes, charlie and i may agree on some policies at the end of the day it matters who we vote for in this primary. on who can these ron desantis. if we vote for charlie were going to see ron desantis running forpresident . over me in this primary you'll have a fighter and we will end ron desantis's career. that is my promise that i give to you to make sure we create a business friendly environment that takes care of the people that are here. people that work here so i will absolutely reverse the decision on disney making sure that we truly create an economic environment where people can prosper. >> when talking about winning the election and winning in november.
the latest poll has me pulling ahead of nikki by 17 points in the primary . i've raised $12 million. >> the only poll that matters is the election. >> i will interrupt you, i hope you will extend me the same courtesy . >> is the only union in the state that has support including the afl-cio. i'm confident in our ability to win this election, confident but not complacent and the same way about taking on ron desantis, i'm pulling ahead of him today. >> we're going to move now to the environment because i think we can all agree that florida is ground zero to the effects of climate change . in south florida we often see the flooding on any given day , on any given friday for that matter and also the everglades are considered a state treasurer funding for restoration efforts has increased in recent years. what programs for funding can you put in place to protect our state environments as we look to the future,
commissioner? >> we all know florida is ground zero or all the issues happening in our planet. we know right now streets are flooding. i was growing up here in miami experience hurricane andrew. we all thought that was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime storm every year we're seeing more and more of these types of storms threatening the coast of florida and the united states. as our commissioner of agriculture we spent the last 3 and a half years fighting for our environment , making sure we are talking about issues that were going to matter. clean water. we made sure we came in and did a better balance on the environment and agriculture, making sure pushing for legislation and initiatives to create sustainable environments so as your governor i'll be able to take it one step further . that's why the democratic environmental office endorse me because as commissioner put together a 72 page plan, never been done before in the state outlining exactly what
we would do when president biden was elected we also sent a 30 page plan or the different ideas of how to work together to create a sustainable environments including more solar in florida, making sure the infrastructure coming to our state is actually being used to activities and different types of programs that are going to be beneficial to the environments of our state . people come here for our beaches and clean water and we have to do everything possible to make sure is sustainable for the next generation . >> what would you do in terms of fundingfor the environment ? >> few issues are as important to florida than our environment and i've said this all the time that our environment and economy are inextricably linked. because florida is beautiful. where a tourist driven state. it is an engine that is our economy. it serves people who work in a restaurant, people who work in hotels and universal and
come to go to our cruise lines i know it's fundamentally important to each and everyone of you . we want a good economy and we want to sustain it but we have to sustain florida to keep that going. that means we have to address climate change. i'm the only honors a climate change summit right here in south florida with governor arnold schwarzenegger and others. i think it's fundamentally important that we have to be looking forward. if were going to save the climate, we have to be doing that right now. we are the state most susceptible to rising sea levels. i tried when i was governor the first time to buy as much land as i could to restore the natural flows out of the water through the everglades, through lake okeechobee into florida they are and that's what we need to do and that's what i'llreignite when i get back to the governor again . the only reason we couldn't finish was the great recession though the funds come back but instead i used them to save jobs having
common sense and doing the right thing . >> the environment we know is the most important thing but unfortunately when charging charlie was auditioning to be vice president under john mccain he stood behind john mccainwhen he was talking about oil drilling . charlie is there clapping. though the policy is that charlie gets on is only for one purpose . it's only to enhance his political career. notthe people of our state and certainly not our environment . >> continued mister congressman.you are a congressman and commissioner of agriculturein our state . and both are at risk are risking very important positions within democratic party trying to get the governor. have any of you stood in front of ron desantis what would be the cost of failure within your own party? >> the cost is not running
against him. the failure would be in not challenging ron desantis.he is a disaster of the governor . he's the worst governor in modern florida history. attacking lgbtq. not caring about affordability for your housing, gas or groceries. not caring about people in their daily lives and students in the classroom. banning books from our classroom. not supporting teachers. where the third largest state in the country and our teachers are paid 38 out of 50 states . what he's doing is giving up everything floridians care about to pursue the white house because he thinking about it all day every day and that's why he's going after these red meat unbelievable issues to punish gay people in florida. to punish african-american citizens in our state.
to punish women and their right to choose. i want to reverse all of that and that's why i'm running for governor because you certainly deserve better . >> what will be the impact between your party, the fact that you might lose the election . and he also. being a congressman. >> i'm not overconfident but i know what floridians want and i know they're hurting and this governor doesn't feel it, doesn't care about it, he doesn't understand it. all he does is hang around with millionaires and billionaires and collect checks to run for the president of the unitedstates in 2024 . i've been your governor before. i thought for you. give me the opportunity to do it again and i will never let you down. >> commissioner. >> i've had an opportunity and a front row sees to see the policies that ron has in our state. i've had to sit next to him in cabinet meetings. every single time i've gone to speak at a microphone when ron and i are in the same room he gets this light
headed jerk reaction because i make them nervous. i throw him off. what i've also watched and have seen i couldn't sit back and watch anymore. growing up in miami my parents didn't teach me that you have an obligation to stand up. to stand up against bullies, stand up for justice and i'm watching this guy take away our freedom. take away our democracy. i had no choice but to stand up and make sure that he was a one term governor. and as somebody who's been in those trenches and fighting because look at what his policy initiatives are? he's going after our lgbtq communities that he's going after our black congressional districts. he's going after rights to protest, rights to vote. that is not democracy. that's fascism and unfortunately so many of these was the initiatives that he is fighting on today were charlie's when he was a republican.
that is unacceptable. that is why we have to winand i understand the gravity of this situation . >> congressman. >> he is anti-democracy. there's no question about it. this governor doesn't want our fellow floridians to vote i have a 90-year-old father, and a seven-year-old grandmother. and i love them with all my heart. and what's terrible about what's desantis is doing, he'smaking it harder for seniors to vote by mail . i like to vote by mail. it's convenient. i'm a democrat running to protect democracy. he is an autocrat running to become a dictatorand it's not right for florida . >> i like to piggyback and the potential loss to the party if either of you lose. because president biden's popularity only numbers are down about 20 percent since taking office and former
president trump carried the state in 2020 in part because of that hispanic voters porting the republican ticket . with these factors in place how do you plan on carrying the democrats over the top or the first time in 30 years commissioner? >> in 2018 when i ran for commissioner of agriculture , no one was possible. everybody sing one is this good jewish girl doing running for commissioner of agriculture, a seat and has never been elected a female nor a democrat in more than 20 years. but we them wrong. we crisscrossed the state and talk to everybody. we made sure my first commercials were in lee county and majorly seminole, please let do fall. we made sure we're going to panhandle, to pull everywhere in our state. that is what is going to take in order for us to win. to make sure we have a candidate who understands the completedemographics of our state .
i sent the last three years going to our rural communities talking to them, finding those issues that unite us instead of dividing us and at the end of the day we know ron desantis has flown too close to the sun, that he's proneto make mistakes and i'm prone to capitalize on them .i want our state as a democrat. the only one in this race who can claim that. i will do it again in 2022 by being myself, i talking about issues important to you. not the issues important to us that's how we're going to win . we create an umbrella for everybody to come underneath and make sure we're protecting the interests of the people of our state. >> it's been three decades, your response to that. >> my response is we have to do what's right for the people of our state. and what that means in the hispanic community is reaching out to them, listening . my dad used tell me and my
three sisters god gave you two ears and one that you respect his ratio. make sure you listen to people and hear what they're sayingyou're running to be governor of the state . there's 22 million of us. visit with venezuelans as i've done, nicaraguans as i've done. human americans as i have done. we are the most diverse state in the countryand that's a great part of our beauty . so i am the grandson of an immigrant who came to this country at the age of 14 and 1912 from the island of cyprus in the mediterranean. that's why father's mother. she emigrated from lebanon about the same year. i understand the immigrant story. i understand the yearn for freedom, but yearn for commerce and opportunity . it's why people have been coming to america forever. it's the right thing to do to
understand that story and make sure it continues to go forward . >> commissioner. >> growing up in miami my neighbors were cuban and we spent almost every other weekend hearing the stories of why she and her family left the communist regime to come here for democracy and when we kicked off our campaign we toured all of our states talking to our latin american communities, haitian communities. this is what it's going to take. listening, understanding why people came here. i hear you and i will protect you. >> congress, you are have both emphasized throughout the debate as well that ron desantis as governor more than his reelection what he's interested in is to become a presidential candidate . doesn't that make him off the two of you more week to the
electorate of the people that are looking for a more solid candidate to bring about the electoral rolls? >> i couldn't have said it better myself. it makes hima weak candidate . he's taken his eye off of you . he doesn't care about you as much as he cares about his own political future and he's proving it every single day. he doesn't workfor the common good, he doesn't work across the aisle . he's only going after the very hard right republican vote didn't do well in the polling or the nomination for president and it is serving him well politically but it's not serving you at all as floridians. it's supposed to be public service and you're supposed to serve with a servant's heart. ron desantis is a politician who only cares about his own future. you my fellow floridians deserve better. you deserve only cares about you, who cares about our environment, cares about your children.
who makes sure the future of florida will be. you deserve a governor who will bring the sunshine back to the sunshine state was under this governor it's been pretty dark for a while . >> commissioner. >> i read a story back in 2019 that did an entire exposc on ron desantis and one of the most fascinating parts was talkingabout his first baseball game . where got a single and then as he was standing on the base he tried to stealsecond. he kept his eye off of where you needed to go because he got picked off at second . that's what he'strying to do it again here . he's taken his eye off his home base. he's taken his eye off of you the people. in order to have that chance of running forpresident . make no mistake, he was a witness reelection that is exactly what he woulddo . he would leave us behind. at a time when we're seeing the greatest amount of suffering in our state he
will have less left a great weight of damage everywhere he goes. he is not herefocusing on a state . during the pandemic he went mia. i had to stand up and take over leadership of our state because he didn't want to talk to you, didn't want to follow the science and the data. he was looking at his national aspirations, more concerned about getting on fox news and making surewe were protecting the people of our state . we made sure we lead with science, lead with conviction . if you all the information you needed to protect your families and that is what i will do as our next governor. >> congressman you have the opportunity of 30 seconds. >> listen, we have to have a governor who cares about florida again, who understands what a special place this is . florida isnot a steppingstone . we are the most beautiful place in the world to live.
i was born in pennsylvania but i was three years old family moved to st. petersburg on the west coast. a public school kid who graduated from st. peter's high school and one of our great universities . i love this state . >> this debate is airing in english and spanish so let's talk about immigration because governor desantis has clearly stated florida will not be a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants and has taken measures to protect our state from what he calls the crisis at the border. would you change thatpolicy if you were elected governor, commissioner ? >> as commissioner of agriculture we know that millions of our floridians work for agriculture and 1 million of those are undocumented. the last 3 and a halfyears i've made sure we protected those working in immigration and are working in agriculture . when ron made sure that
testing and vaccines didn't get to do those populations i had to go around him to stand up for the people that live and work here. they areessential to our economy . and i've actually had to testify in front of congress and on numerous panels across our state saying that we need comprehensive immigration reform. and when this legislature pushed now not one but twice to createsanctuary cities , i stood up and for these individuals working here in our state. the governor had the audacity to sign a piece of legislation pushed legislation that took away some of our religious institutions who have become safe harbors for ourchildren. these are kids he went after . i will bow to do whatever i can to make sure the people living in our state feel safe and secure. we also have the opportunity to the individuals who have heard the stories of every time they leave their house
there in fear of never coming home. no oneshould ever have to live in that fear . >> congressman, would you change the policy? >> what we need do is have comprehensive immigration reform. i'm a grandson of the greek immigrant and lebanese grandmother. i understand that immigrants story and the dream immigrants have. i want to come for a better life, a safer life, a more secure life for them and their children and their grandsons . that's why it's so important we get this right. our borders need to be secure but we also need to be compassionate otherwise my grandmother and my grandfather wouldn't have been able to come to the united states. when he got here shortly thereafter he joined the army for world war i . he fought in europe, in belgium. he was honorably discharged and guess what? as a result he was granted his us citizenship. couldn't have been happier about anything in his life
that was because it was oneof the first dreamers if you will . america stands for the beginning of life and hope around the world. doing what we can to make sure as the strongest country on the planet we are fighting for right and fighting for good. >> would florida be a sanctuary state if you wereto be governor ? >> florida would be a place where people can work in agriculture. as i said i stated i think we need to have prevented immigration reform. i don't want illegal immigration, i want legal immigration and is compassionate. >> commissioner. >> let's go back to why he sent our troops over to the border last year. it had absolutely nothing to do with securing our border and had everything to do with a political stunt and you know who it cost? you and me. taxpayer dollars. over $1 million was spent in order for that political shots that run desantis had.
he's playing politics and our money, with our lives. that has to stop. >> thanks to both of you the debate has finalized . each of you will have two minutes. >> we begin with you. >> first of all thank you so much for moderating today and thank you for telemundo and nbc six. i was growing up here in miami. my mom was a teacher. my dad is a republican that's why being up here debating a republican is nothing new to me . the things they taught me in my jewish faith is to heal the world. it's like i started a private practice.it's why i took on the bigbanks during the foreclosure crisis . it's why i fought for our foster care kids and it's why
i was so hard oncharlie today . because of pointing and defending judges stripped away to black congressional seats, who plotted to overturn roe versus wade and taking money from the nra is the exact opposite of healing the world. look, we both want to be ron desantis but i've been doing it for four years as your only statewide elected democrats. so you have a choice. we can keep losing or we can try something new. something new for that single mom who can't afford her rent. something new for that black entrepreneur who is competing in a rating system. something new for our teachers who just want to teach. something new for every little girl who is fighting tyranny. we have totry something new . i am nikki fried, the only
statewide democrat is what our state since barack obama in 2012. i know how to be ron desantis and if you give me the opportunity i will dojust that . you for your time. thank you for your vote. i appreciate you. >> thank you very much for tuning in this evening. it'sa pleasure to be with you. sadly i have to say you just heard the voice of desperation . unfortunately for nikki he's losing this campaign and that's unfortunate but you want somebody to win and can win in november. i will be laser focus on affordability, making sure we get housing down, that we get affordability back. that we do what we can do to get gas prices down and not put it off as a political stunt as governor desantishas done . you deserve a governor who cares about you and your education. makes sure even though we're the third-largest in the country where not 48 or 49 in what we pay our teachers.
you deserve better. we need to make sure in fact that all of these things are fought for and let me start with roe versus wade. this is one of the greatest threats to our modern society in 50 years and it comes out ofdisrespect for women . desantis does not respect women, doesn't want them to have their right to choose. that's absurd. i will fight tooth and nail every single day. i look forward to the opportunity to fight for you to make florida a better place to live again. as i said to bring the sunshine back to the sunshine state because this is a wonderful place to grow up . i didn't since 1960 in tampa bay. i look forward to the campaign i had and i asked for your votes humbly. i ask that you will stand with. go to charlie crist.com. god bless us alland god bless the great state of florida . >> congressman crist and miss
fried, this concludes the democratic primary gubernatorial debate. we bring it to a close and would like to thank you once again, are in the six nbc six and telemundo viewers. >> this is the result of the efforts of this electoral year and the candidates will participate in the next november a. >> commissioner nikki fried and charlie crist, thank you for yourparticipation . >> good night. >> congratulations, good job. >> you.
>> the center returns monday at 3 pm. senators plan to vote on legislation providing grants to the us computer chip industry to better compete with china. the senate is expected to take up a bill expanding access to va healthcare and disability veterans benefits for veterans exposed to toxins. the house is back for legislative work tuesday at 2 pm eastern and also plans to take up the computer chip legislation following its expected passage by the senate . later members willvote on a bill to provide wildfire and drought relief .watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2. you can watch on our free video app or online at c-span.org. here's some of our live coverage today. the white house takes an
update on president biden's health after he tested positive for covid-19 last week. will you from the response team coordinator doctor ashish jaa. later follow vice president mike pence lays out his policy agenda. the discussion being hosted by the heritage foundation in washington dc. watch live today on c-span, the free c-span video app or online at c-span.org. >> next a conversation on the role of social media and democracy. it was part of the us court of appeals ninth circuit judiciary conference in big sky montana.