Sink has fired the campaign aide responsible for the cell phone ordeal.
MIAMI- In their last debate before the November 2nd election for Florida governor, Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott attacked each other like two boxers who know it may be their last chance at a championship belt before the bell rings.
One of Scott's frequent charges on the campaign trail, and in his barrage of political ads, is that Sink is too liberal for a state that is unabashedly purple, and has elected two Republican governors in a row.
"The stimulus is a disaster, I think. 'Obamacare' is going to be horrible for patients. It is going to be horrible for taxpayers. It is probably the biggest job-killer ever," Scott said Monday night, with his opponent sitting just two feet away. " That's what she believes in."
Sink delivered a counter-punch to those accusations, the forceful jabs setting the tone for the hour-long, nationally televised debate.
"Rick, every time you put that Obama liberal label on me, you just don't know what you're talking about," Sink said. " You cannot put that label on me."
After the debate, co-moderator and respected Florida political reporter Adam Smith of the St Petersburg Times sent out an article saying that Sink had "cheated" during the debate by breaking the rules that stated the candidates could not receive notes during the debate.
''If you watched the debate, you may have noted Rick Scott accusing the Alex Sink campaign of slipping her a note against the rules. He's correct. Violating their mutual agreement against notes, Sink makeup artist came in during a commercial break and showed her a phone with a message, " Smith wrote.
Apparently, Sink's make-up artist handed her a cell phone with a text from her campaign, so it was not seen during the airing of the debate on CNN, but according to the network was captured on camera.
Scott who saw the maneuver brought it up immediately after the respective break.
"First Alex, you say you always follow the rules, the rule was no one was supposed to give us messages during the break, " Scott said." And your campaign did."
"Rick Scott constantly says 'I follow the rules'," Sink said bringing up Scott's tenure as head of the HCA/Columbia hospital chain in the 1990's, " He certainly was not following the rules when he led a company that was convicted of 14 felonies because they were engaged in Medicare fraud. He is just somebody that we can't trust, because he doesn't know how to follow the rules."
"You're reinventing history," Sink said at one point." You've spent a lifetime reinventing the truth, Rick."
"No I'm not," Scott retorted.
When the topic turned to the elderly, the debate turned even more contemptuous after Scott noticed Sink smiling during one of his responses.
"Smile about it?" Scott said firmly to Sink when he accused the former bank Sink headed of malfeasance with their elderly customers "You don't care about seniors? Is that the deal? You want to smile about it?"
"You can't lecture me about fraud," Sink replied.
In the end, the forum was more of a pugilistic bout of verbal sparring than a typical gubernatorial debate for the 4th largest state in the country, but then again these two are locked in a dead-heat of a political battle with a week to go before the election.
In this title fight, however, there was no definitive winner Monday night, despite the hay-makers, jabs and uppers cuts in this political slug-fest, whomever wins the championship belt will have to wait until November 2nd, when the judges, the voters of Florida, decide who their next governor will be.