Florida: Republican governor candidate flounders over Trump as role model

President Trump calls Tallahassee one of USA's

President Trump calls Tallahassee one of USA's "worst & most corrupt cities"

The county in which Tallahassee sits has the highest crime rate in Florida, but the numbers have improved during his tenure, Gillum argued.

Few campaigns in 2018 have run so directly parallel to the broader national political fight - and this, like so much else in the era, had the feel of a brawl. In the hours after the primary election when DeSantis made the "monkey this up" comment, Gillum appeared in an interview with FOX News host Shepard Smith and compared DeSantis's comments with using a racist "dog whistle".

The consensus among conservatives was that DeSantis won the debate, with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams saying, "Ron DeSantis' debate performance was what I expected from a decorated military veteran, former prosecutor and proven leader".

Gillum said that if he were elected, his opinions on the President wouldn't impact a decision to accept federal funds for the state. "Floridians can know that I'll be a governor for all Floridians", he told the crowd.

"The truth is I'm black. The vision Ron laid out tonight is one that will lift everyone in our state up and that's why I know he'll be successful on Election Day".

CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday gleefully called out President Donald Trump's claim that he never watches CNN ― after the president remarked on a debate that aired on the news network.

"That's what I thought", Gillum said, drawing laughter from the audience. DeSantis referenced his pro-Trump campaign ad, then immediately pivoted from the "role model" angle to Trump's moving the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He's tweeting at him and he's talking to him.

Polls have shown Gillum ahead, though polls from recent weeks show him ahead by just a point or two, which is within the margin of error.

In the tweet, the President calls DeSantis "a great Congressman" and says that he will be "a record setting Governor for Florida".

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"His record as mayor is one presiding over a city that's out of control in terms of crime", DeSantis said, citing a report that found Tallahassee had a historically high murder rate previous year.

"This is not Russia", Gillum said. In the course of the investigation, Gillum once unknowingly attended the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" in the company of an undercover agent.

Gillum showed he and DeSantis are not operating on an even level in any capacity, but especially politically and intellectually.

"We all have friends that sometimes let us down", Gillum said of Corey, while also pushing back at DeSantis with a suggestion this, too, was a racial dog whistle: "I'm a hard working person", he added.

On another central Republican position, DeSantis distanced himself a little from the president.

Gillum offered a different take. DeSantis warned that it would end current programs, many of them popular - which is true, though single-payer advocates argue the replacement would be more comprehensive. However, DeSantis has not unveiled a health care plan, and his issues page does not include health care.

Early voting will also be available for the first time on several college campuses.

Gillum said doing what's best for the state shouldn't be about politics, noting that he's worked closely with Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which left most of Tallahassee without power.

All the more reason to go vote on November 6.

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