Saturday, February 24, 2018
Politics

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 tumblr.com.

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.

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