Crist-Rubio Smackdown, Round 4

Brandon Kruse/The Palm Beach Post

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The fourth debate in Florida’s contentious US Senate race turned ugly last night, as independent Charlie Crist took some nasty swipes at the race’s frontrunner, Republican Marco Rubio, a tea party favorite. Branding his opponent an “extreme right-wing candidate,” Crist even accused Rubio, the former state house speaker, of flip-flopping on a piece of insurance legislation after a chiropractor who’d been lobbying Rubio bought the lawmaker’s Miami house. Rubio replied, “In front of a live audience in this state, [Crist] just launched a vicious personal attack on me based on a falsehood.”

So it went last night, with Crist, Rubio, and Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek trading blows throughout the typically divisive debate. For months, Rubio has comfortably led the three-way race, boasting an 11-point lead, according to a recent Rasmussen Poll.

Here’s more from the Miami Herald and the St. Pete Times:

The other tense moment of the debate came when Meek ripped Crist for flip-flopping on offshore oil drilling, which the Miami congressman has consistently opposed expanding.

“You were there with Sarah Palin a couple years ago saying, ‘Drill baby drill,'” Meek charged.

“I never said ‘Drill baby drill,” Crist said.

“You were clapping,” Meek retorted, to which Crist said, “I was there to support my friend John McCain.”

Crist fended off accusations from both Meek and Rubio that he had left the Republican party and modulated his positions simply to boost his poll ratings.

“I’m a guy who believes in common sense, not nonsense,” Crist said. “I’m running against an extreme right wing candidate who believes in taking rights away from women, punishing seniors, and punishing teachers.”

Crist’s chances of defeating Rubio hinge almost entirely on peeling away more of Meek’s Democratic and moderate supporters. There have even been rumblings of Meek dropping out of the race to boost Crist’s chances. Meek, however, has consistently dismissed the rumors, and this late in the game, the odds are slim he’ll abandon his candidacy.

SIX TRUTHS

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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