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READER POLL: Who Won the Crist-Rubio Debate?

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailIn front of a national TV audience on Sunday, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio sparred over their stances on the federal economic stimulus package, health care, social security, immigration and their records in state government.

Both Crist and Rubio sought to turn each other’s time in Tallahassee into a disadvantage, with Rubio saying Crist had failed to live up to his predecessor, former Gov. Jeb Bush, who is thought to be a mentor to the former speaker.

In response, Crist hammered Rubio on his tenure as speaker of the House for a plan to replace property taxes with increases in the state sales tax Crist said would have been the largest tax increase in Florida history. Crist also accused Rubio of inaction on the issue of illegal immigration during his time leading the Florida House.

Now we want to know: WHO WON?

Tell us who you think emerged as the winner of the Fox News Sunday Senate Debate...


17 Responses »

  1. Rubio is the more conservative candidate, but Crist is a way better debater. Hands down the gov won that match-up. But I'm not sure I want to vote for either of them.

    • I would disagree. I felt Crist spent more time trying to denograte Rubio, and he really didn't tell us where he stood on much of anything. He did though indicate he would work with the current dictator in the white house, and I am personally not sure I would want the next person rubber stamping the destruction of our country as at least one of our senators is already doing.

  2. Gov. Crist was more comoposed and presented himself very well in the debate. Both had great points. Rubio needs to address the financial misgivings brought up by Crist with a full, specific accounting of his expenitures from the "slush fund." Rubio left me wondering if he did in fact spend money on personal expenses.

  3. Charlie is as RINO as they come. He said he would have voted for the TARP bank bailout just like the RINO Ander Crenshaw. I'm just glad we have a choice.

  4. Speaker Rubio won. He tried to debate issues but Governor Crist just made personal attacks that have been answered but he had no issues to run on. CC took credit for much of what Governor Bush had done

    • I agree 100%. Governor RINO is starting to get desperate and I am expecting him to go against his word yet again and run as a 3rd party candidate after Marco Rubio takes him to the woodshed. He is nothing more than a gayer version of his hero, John McCain. Go J.D. Hayworth!

  5. Charlie seemed so desperate. He should have spent more time talking about the issues instead of throwing dirt. That was not favorable for Crist. Seems nothing can help him now - further downhill slide is coming.

    Charlie's response to the Social Security question was pretty weak and seemed like he was pandering to the old folks - he's always pandering to someone, isn't he?

    Also, he finally claimed that he would have voted for the stimulus package, and put himself in a corner. He also had more double speak when he said the healthcare bill should be repealed - he was previiously quoted as saying he would kieep some parts of the bill. It makes you wonder where he would have stood if he wasn't facing a butt-kicking from Rubio....makes me think he would have been the only Republican to vote for the healthcare package if he had been in the Senate.

    Rubio should have been more aggressive, but he still won in my opinion.

  6. So now Rubio is now on the record for wanting to cut benefits to Seniors and admitting that he supported the largest tax increase in the history of Florida. Those are his words, nobody else's. Big mistake by a candidate who is just not ready for the National stage. Seems like a good person, just needs more expereince. Crist won the debate and will win the Primary.

    • ...On the other hand, Crist finally admitted that he would have voted for the stimulus package after his song and dance routine a few months back where he flat out denied supporting it. Jeb was right - that is unforgiveable.

      There is a real question about whether Crist would have gone along with the Healtchare package, too. I am sure he would have voted for that, as well if he was in the Senate.

      As much as Crist wants to pat himself on the pback for being pragmatic, he's a major panderer and not representative of what most Republicans (and Amercians) want out of our political leaders.

      • Wrong , Crist sent George LeMieux up to the Senate. View our current senator and see how very conservative he is. Also, a very good person. George voted against Obamacare.I say keep him because he can heal the rift in the party and I hope is not tainted with the misuse of funds.

      • I don't remember saying anything about Lemieux. Are you saying that his votes are actually Charlie Crist's votes by proxy...and that Lemieux's votes are a good indication of what Charlie would do? I don't buy that.

        If Crist wasn't get his butt kicked all over the state, he would be on stage again with Obama promoting the health care package. He has basically done the same thing in Florida property insurance by creating a massive state-run insurer, and growing the CAT Fund by billions they can't pay when the storms hit. He admitted to Chris Wallace that he would have voted for the stimulus package, too, if he had been in the Senate at the time. His Florida property insurance strategy is a clear parallel to Obama-care. Big Govt involvement - largest insurer is the state, but they don't have the money, so Crist is okay with sending my kids the bill for years to come. Sound familiar??? It's the Obama playbook.

  7. It’s depressing. This US Senate election is shaping up to be -unfortunately - one of the most negative and divisive in our history. It is also one of the most important elections of our lifetime and requires all Floridians to get involved and vote.

    I hope we can all encourage our favorite candidate to tout his own strengths and stop the mud slinging, leaked documents and half truths. What a great day for Florida to have enjoyed national attention for our Republican candidates. Too bad it came off so negatively.

    My optimistic dream is for media to also discourage this negativity by ending the reporting on the destructive remarks and attacks and just try to eek out the statements made by the candidate in regard to his own qualifications and future plans for our state and America.

    Reporting the off-putting and unconstructive only encourages the behavior.

  8. Rasmussen had graphics up yesterday that showed Marco's negatives very high and Crist's very low. It was a little vague on the population that was polled....I thought Rubio looked like a college student next to Crist. I thought Rubio was right on some issues. When it comes to November-I think Crist will have a much better shot at taking the statewide vote than Rubio...he is counting on channeling anger to the November vote. By then we will be looking for problem solvers. That is what Crist is selling.

    In my opinion-Rubio pushed Crist hard on property tax reforms-and we got some short sighted ones. Most of the equity problems were solved by the busting of the real estate bubble.

    I wish both of them had been in Washington instead of Florida to do their tax reform. Sadly neither of them made hard decisions that would have adressed issues like excessive pension policies-set by the state that affect both state and local government. It was much less of a political risk to politic on the back of cities and counties. Cutting local revenue does not bring government closer to the people. The sweetheart deals are still cut in Washington and Tallahassee. It really makes me wonder how real any of these conservative movements are...when they are not dealing in a fiscally pragmatic way-about real issues. I understand not politicing on them-but both of these candidates have been the 6 or fewer seats of power for Florida-and neglected the hard reform-that was within their grip.

    That being said-
    I want a Republican in this seat in NOVEMBER-not just someone who can win the R primary.

    May the best man win.

  9. Crist started out with mud slinging and kept it up all through the debate which apparently will be his campaign mode. It got irritating. He also interrupted Rubio several times when Rubio was trying to make a point. Rubio did not resort to mud slinging but did defend himself and kept trying to bring out the differences in their records. Crist comes off like your typical politician who would go along with anything to get ahead (Obama "hug" and Stimilus Bill support) which is not what Floridians should have in Congress. I think Rubio won the debate. But I think the news media supports Crist and will work to get him elected.

  10. Yes I agree with sickofsoundbits "I want a Republican in this seat in NOVEMBER". The only difference is I would like someone who actually IS a Republican, not just someone with an "R" after their name.

  11. Gov Charlie did well..... as his usual double-talking self. Think I'll stick a Rubio sign in my yard.

  12. it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of brains that Rubio is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He was like a child compared to Charlie. Charlie Crist cares for every citizen of this state and if Rubio gets in, God forbid, NE Florida will never see another penny from Tally. He is so pro immigration and pro Dade, Broward Palm Bch that he can barely conceal it. First he's for Cap and Trade then he says "well maybe it's not such a good idea" I saw his behavior in So FL and he might as well invite Chavez and Castro to come on in. I can't believe that he has the GOP so snowed because he is a so called conservative. People don't remember that his own brother was talking him down earlier last year! Mario is a great conservative but not baby brother.