Just after the GOP gubernatorial debate between Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis on Thursday night, the Spin Room was dominated by two fiery politicians ready to support their candidate by tearing into their man’s opponent.
Outgoing state House Speaker Richard Corcoran is one of the toughest politicians in Tallahassee and he showed that inside the Spin Room after the debate. Working the room on behalf of Putnam, Corcoran came out swinging at DeSanits.
“It’s embarrassing,” Corcoran said. “The guy is ‘do nothing DeSantis’ and it came through today in his lack of knowledge and his lack of understanding of what is going on in the state of Florida.”
Clearly the message from Corcoran and the rest of Putnam’s team is that their guy is the candidate for Florida while DeSantis is the candidate of Washington D.C.
During the debate, DeSantis repeatedly said he has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, something the state House speaker pounced on.
“That’s the only thing he can say, the only thing he can say,” Corcoran said about DeSantis. “He talks about civics and how we should have civics. We already passed that bill. It’s on the ballot and in the Constitution. Don’t you even read what is on the ballot? All he could do is say Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump. At some point you have to come out and give the people of Florida a vision.”
A blistering attack for sure, but one that could not go unchallenged. Florida Daily looked for someone holding a Ron DeSantis sign that might have something to say about all of this and found a taker in Panhandle Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.
“There was only one conservative of that stage,” Gaetz fired back.
For the real spin in the Spin Room, you have to say that your candidate won. However, it is far better when you can say the other guy lost and then attack them in a way your candidate could never get away with. That’s exactly the way Gaetz stood up for DeSantis and took shots at Putnam on immigration.
“Adam Putnam is weak on illegal immigration,” Gaetz said. “Ron has pointed out that Adam cannot defend his record on supporting amnesty, opposing E-Verify. There was no correction of that record. The record in the governor’s race on illegal immigration is an amnesty lover who killed E-Verify.”
That is how you attack in the Spin Room. Relentless and brutal, so your candidate does not have to. The real mudslinging often takes part after the candidates leave the debate stage.
Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.