The debate Wednesday night in the Florida governor's race got off to a very peculiar start: Republican Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to come out on stage, declaring that Democratic candidate Charlie Crist was violating the rules by having an electric fan underneath his podium.
Crist, who is himself a former Republican governor of Florida but has since switched parties and become the Democratic nominee, has always used a fan at his public appearances, to avoid sweating, the local CBS station in Miami reports. On the other side, the Scott campaign's position was that Crist was in violation of the debate rules' prohibition on having electronic devices.
For his part, Crist stated that he did not believe the fan was in violation of any of the rules. One of the moderators asked Crist about the electronic devices ban.
"Are we really going to debate about a fan?" Crist responded, "Or are we going to talk about education, and the environment, and the future of our state? I mean, really."
After several awkward minutes, with only Crist standing at his podium — and now indeed debating the fan with the moderators — Scott ultimately walked out and took his place at his own podium, and the debate finally began.
Watch the video below. --Eric Kleefeld