WATCH: Florida Gov. Rick Scott's Bizarre Boycott of a Live TV Debate
Florida Gov. Rick Scott refused to take the podium during a debate with his Democratic rival, former Gov. Charlie Crist last night because event organizers provided Crist with a fan.
At the start of last night's debate at Broward College, it was announced that Florida Gov. Rick Scott would not debate because of Crist's fan, citing their copy of the debate rules stating there could be no fans on stage.
As the broadcast began, former Gov. Crist took to the stage, tardy by a few seconds. But there was no sign of Gov. Scott. The debate moderators told the audience that the governor was in the building but would not be participating.
“Our incumbent governor and the Republican candidate for governor is also in the building,” said moderator Eliott Rodriguez of Miami’s CBS4 station. “Gov. Rick Scott? We have been told that Governor Scott will not be participating in this debate.”
The cameras then focused on a small, black fan on the floor behind the lectern which was turned up and apparently running and blowing upward. Crist, is well known for using portable fans during public appearances and interviews, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The moderators began to ask Crist whether he was, in fact, allowed a fan, to which Crist shot back: "Are we really going to debate a fan? Aren’t we going to debate about education, the environment, and the future of the state?”
"This is remarkable over a trivial issue no matter which side you're on," said Frank Denton, editor of the Florida Times-Union, one of the debate monitors.
After about several minutes of confusion and impromptu commentary about the fan, Scott finally took the stage and the debate began. Watch the video from MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes: