Twitter erupts during DeSantis, Crist debate over school closures: ‘This is the definition of gaslighting’
Critics from all over Twitter reacted to Florida’s heated gubernatorial debate between Florida’s Republican governor. Ron DeSantis and his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.
Conservatives were confused by Crist’s attempt to portray DeSantis as a “shutdown guy” because he was the first governor in Florida history to close schools and businesses at the start of the pandemic after DeSantis blasted Crist for calling for continued quarantines.
“Charlie Crist just called Ron DeSantis ‘the only governor in history to close schools,’ but then said he should have closed them. This guy is a total clown,” radio host Buck Sexton wrote.
“I don’t think this will work,” responded National Review writer Charles CW Cooke.
“This is the definition of gaslighting,” tweeted Deseret resident Bethany Mandel.
Liberals and reporters drew attention to the exchange when Crist directly challenged DeSantis, who generated tons of 2024 buzz, to commit to serving all four years of the second term if elected. DeSantis refrained from answering while abiding by the debate’s rule that the candidates cannot ask each other questions, only to say, “The only worn-out old donkey I want to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
“DeSantis looks rattled — like a deer in headlights when faced with the *most unavoidable question on the debate stage,” tweeted Democratic strategist Lis Smith.
“DeSantis should have been ready to answer this. It was an inevitable question,” Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown responded.
New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher called it a “revealing moment.”
“I wonder what Trump thinks about DeSantis’ non-response,” Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali wrote.
Others praised the governor’s response to Crist’s claim that DeSantis was “divisive,” reviving his opponent’s comments demonizing DeSantis’ supporters for the “hate” in their hearts moments after he clinched the Democratic nomination.
“Hard to see Crist going back to ‘Ron is a splitter’ after this response,” tweeted MRC Latino director Jorge Bonilla.
“Prepared,” responded Fox News contributor Guy Benson.
While supporters on each side declared their candidate the winner, it’s unclear whether the debate will affect the current trajectory of Florida’s gubernatorial race.
DeSantis has a massive 10-point lead over Cristo, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
Fox News Power Rankings has Florida’s gubernatorial race as “likely Republican.”
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