Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scott, Crist and pizza man in the audience

debate notebook

Scott, Crist and pizza man in the audience

Florida's current governor and the man who once held the job — and might want it back — provided a little additional political theater to Monday's third presidential debate. As organizers introduced first lady Michelle Obama in an auditorium on the campus of Lynn University, television viewers saw former Gov. Charlie Crist standing a row behind her, clapping and smiling. When organizers introduced Ann Romney, viewers caught a glimpse of Gov. Rick Scott shaking the hand of the former first lady of Massachusetts. Both Scott and Crist were at the debate site Monday spinning for their candidates. Many speculate Crist, the former Republican governor who became an independent during his 2010 run for the U.S. Senate, will run for governor as a Democrat in 2014. Scott already has said he will run for a second term. Also spotted in the crowd: Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and Scott Van Duzer, President Barack Obama's bear-hugging Fort Pierce pizza restaurant owner.

Horses, bayonets light up Twitter

President Barack Obama's rejoinder that "we also have fewer horses and bayonets" in the military sent Twitter traffic flying. There were 6.5 million tweets during the debate, with 105,767 tweets per minute in the wake of the "bayonets" line. A live site for horses and bayonets was also created on

First lady, Rubio address rallies

While the candidates themselves hunkered down for last-minute debate preparations on Monday, their best surrogates took advantage of being in Florida. "This election will be closer than the last one," first lady Michelle Obama said Monday at a grass roots rally at Broward College in Davie. "That's the only guarantee. And it could all come down to what happens in just a few key battleground states like right here in Florida." Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., campaigned for Romney on Monday, speaking to a rally of about 100 in Hialeah. He said Obama ''has refused to tell us what he's going to do over the next four years."

Trump promises 'very big' news

Donald Trump said on Fox & Friends Monday that he will reveal "very big" news about President Barack Obama by Wednesday, but declined to give any hints about his plan. "Something very, very big concerning the president of the United States," he said. "It's going to be very big. I know one thing — you will cover it in a very big fashion." Trump, who, considered a run for the White House, has long been a high-profile Obama birther conspiracy theorist.

Springsteen plans concert in Virginia

Bruce Springsteen announced Sunday that he was taking his support of President Barack Obama to a new level: He and the E Street Band will give a free concert in the swing state of Virginia on Tuesday as part of a get-out-the-vote campaign. The announcement comes after Spring­steen made appearances at Obama rallies in two other swing states last week. He joined former President Bill Clinton at an Obama campaign event in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday, and then performed at a second rally in Ames, Iowa.

Times staff writer Aaron Sharockman contributed to this report, which uses information from POLITICO, the New York Times and Associated Press.

Scott, Crist and pizza man in the audience 10/22/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile


    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.