Democrat Charlie Crist Takes a Swipe at Ron DeSantis for Refusing To Debate – Is the Republican Governor Scared?

Toby Hazlewood

Or is he playing it smart and refusing to be drawn?

On September 12, Democratic challenger for the position of Florida's Governor - Charlie Crist - took to Twitter once again to vent his annoyance at the incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. Crist has taken issue with DeSantis refusing to take part in the only gubernatorial debate that was due to be broadcast statewide.

The decision by the DeSantis team to back down from debating Crist has attracted criticism from many outlets and figures besides Crist, particularly since the Governor has run adverts stating that he "never backs down from fights" - only to then refuse a debate with his challenger.

DeSantis running scared?

The refusal to debate his opponent on a statewide televised debate doesn't look particularly good for DeSantis, especially when Crist has willingly committed to taking part in three separate debates. These include the statewide “Before You Vote” Debate which DeSantis is avoiding.

DeSantis has however agreed to one debate on October 12, to be broadcast on a West Palm Beach TV station only. While highlights of that debate are sure to be shared online and will be visible throughout the state after the event, voters may wonder why DeSantis isn't more willing to be seen confronting Crist head-on.

There has been some speculation that it may be an indicator that Gov. DeSantis and his team are becoming nervous after two recent polls projected a narrowing margin of victory for the Republican over his Democratic challenger.

Polls have suggested a winning margin of just 2-3% for DeSanstis which is well-within the margin of error for such polls and could easily be overturned by Crist - himself a former Republican governor of the Sunshine State.

Or is DeSantis trying a different strategy?

There is one other possible explanation - that perhaps DeSantis is trying to campaign on his own merits rather than getting drawn into arguments, debate and mud-slinging?

A recently aired TV advert from the DeSantis camp focuses on the Republican's achievements in the course of his first term as governor - there's no mention of his competitors or detractors.

DeSantis rarely acknowledges his opposition on social media channels either, where Crist spends a lot of time attacking the incumbent Republican. Maybe the governor is trying to play a smarter game against Crist, refusing to be drawn into discussions or debates? Time will tell if it's an effective strategy or not.

Do you think Ron DeSantis should debate Charlie Crist on statewide TV? Do you suspect that DeSantis is avoiding embarrassment or is he playing a smart game against Crist? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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