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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gloves off in Bill McCollum/Rick Scott debate



Bill McCollum over and over again attacked Rick Scott for his tenure at Columbia/HCA in a televised debate Wednesday, while Scott dismissed McCollum as a "desperate" career politician who "never created a private sector job."

"My opponent's desperate. He must not like anybody who's been in business,'' said a confident Scott, who had McCollum on defense as often as he was on offense.

"So I've been in office a long tiome, that's your excuse. The truth is I know what I'm doing,'' McCollum said. "....You ripped off the taxpayers, your ripped off the senior citizens. You were responsible as CEO for the largest Medicare fraud in history...You call that a success . It wasn't a success."

At one of his stronger points in the debate, Scott had McCollum defending his support for fee increases and questioning whether the state budget could be cut as much as Scott says.

"Of course I voted for user fees,'' said McCollum, who repeatedly noted his support from establishment figures from Jeb Bush to Dick Armey, to New Gingrich.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:17am]


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