Fried and Crist feud reaches a fever pitch
The two Democratic candidates running for Governor, Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried, have repeatedly taken shots at each other during their primary.
Crist is the clear frontrunner, beating Fried in the polls and showing her up in fundraising. In a state that is rapidly going from purple to red, he holds himself out as the most viable candidate to beat GOP rockstar Ron DeSantis.
Fried for her part boasts her progressive bonafides, including being consistently pro-choice while beating Crist over the head with his pro-life record prior to becoming a Democrat.
Crist has responded by touting his pro-choice endorsements, including an endorsement by rising star Anna Eskamani, a Democratic representative in Florida.
Their feud reached a fever pitch at the one and only Democratic primary debate for Florida governor.
One debate, one minute, one of the most important issues of our lifetime. pic.twitter.com/3SXR20QS9K
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 22, 2022
Fried opened with that as her first attack, claiming Crist’s campaign would only agree to one debate.
“Before I answer your question, I want to take an opportunity to introduce myself to the viewers because, unfortunately, we’ve only had — are going to only have one debate,” Fried said.
Fried also blamed Florida’s housing problem on Crist. Florida is quickly becoming one of the least affordable places to live after housing prices have rapidly increased.
“We have a housing problem today because of your failed leadership,” she said.
Fried then fell back on her usual attacks, going after Crist for his pro-life record as Governor of Florida.
“I have been pro-choice my entire life,” Fried said. “I have made sure that I’ve stood on the side of women. Charlie cannot say the same thing. He has been pro-life his entire life, including today, including that when he had the chance when he was governor, he appointed the most radical extremists into the Supreme Court.”
Crist has mostly remained quiet while Nikki Fried has been on the offensive.
The only video that Crist shared from the debate did not mention Nikki Fried, focusing on his platform instead.
I'm Charlie Crist and I'm running to defeat Ron DeSantis. But I can't do it alone Florida, join our fight now! pic.twitter.com/aXhiDlRdmB
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) July 22, 2022
At the debate, Crist broke from his usual strategy and hit back at Fried two different times. He called her out for her repeated attacks, saying that she was doing it out of desperation.
“And let’s understand what’s going on here. You’re losing this campaign,” Crist said. “It’s time for desperation. And now it’s on full display all over the state of Florida. And I’m sorry to see that.”
Crist then called Fried out on her hypocrisy, saying that she has supported Republicans in the past as well.
“Well, Nikki, it was only four years ago that you decided to support Ashley Moody, the Republican nominee for attorney general of Florida, gave her a check for $2,000 that helped defeat Sean Shaw,” Crist said.
While no post-debate polling was conducted, it is unlikely that it will move the needle much for Fried, who is currently down by double-digits according to recent surveys.
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