Gov. Scott: Floridians Deserve an Answer from Bill Nelson on Debates 

50 Days Pass Without Response from Nelson on Debate Challenges


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Scott for Florida campaign released the below statement from Governor Scott following 50 days of Bill Nelson not accepting the invitation to a single campaign debate. While the Scott for Florida campaign announced Governor Scott would participate in three campaign debates 50 days ago, Bill Nelson has continuously refused to respond to this challenge or offer Floridians any explanation as to why he is seemingly afraid to go on the debate stage.

After 50 days with no explanation from Bill Nelson himself, Floridians are left on their own to piece together how this career politician of nearly 50 years feels about debating. As it turns out, Bill Nelson used to have a very different approach.

• Thirty years ago, during Nelson’s failed campaign for Florida governor, Bill Nelson accused his opponent of dodging debates after three weeks passed without a response to Nelson’s debate challenge.
• After Bill Nelson’s rival allowed three weeks to pass without accepting the debates, Nelson criticized the slow response and said that “The people of Florida are due an open discussion on the issues.”

The question for Bill Nelson now: Does he no longer believe Floridians should be able to hear from candidates firsthand, or he is too afraid to admit that his own weak record cannot stand up next to Governor Scott’s on the debate state?

Governor Rick Scott said, “If a candidate refuses to debate, they should not even run for office. Debates are an important opportunity for Floridians to hear firsthand what a candidate believes in, what they have done and what they will continue to do for our state. My focus has always been clear: I have worked every single day as governor to make Florida the best place in the world for businesses to grow and create new opportunities, and for families to achieve their dreams. While I look forward to sharing my record and my goals to reform Washington, it’s not surprising to see a career politician like Bill Nelson continue to be all talk and no action. Floridians deserve an answer from Bill Nelson on why he has allowed 50 days to pass without agreeing to a single debate and when he will commit to facing the Floridians he serves on the debate stage.”

The governor will participate in the following debates, none of which Bill Nelson has agreed to.

• Telemundo 51 Miami
• Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute and WJXT Channel