Gillum, DeSantis answer tough questions during CNN debate

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The two candidates for Florida's next governor squared off on the national stage Sunday night in a debate on CNN.

Multiple issues came up, from health care to race relations to the economy.

Early on in the debate, both candidates were hitting each other on health care, with DeSantis saying Gillum supports a single-payer health care system that would cause longer waits to see the doctor, while Gillum claims DeSantis wants to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

WATCH: Political analyst weighs in on gubernatorial debate

"Here's the thing. I want protections, I want to have a lot of things for plans, but you actually have to have access to physicians. Under a single plan, man, that will make the V.A. look like the fast pass at Disney World," said DeSantis. 

"For those folks who are at home, if you're sitting on the couch with one other person between the two of you, one person has a pre-existing condition. This congressman would allow for insurance companies to discriminate against you based on that pre-existing condition," said Gillum. 

It moved quickly to the economy as Gillum defended his desire for Florida to have a $15-an-hour minimum wage, while DeSantis claimed it would cost jobs.

"When working people get a wage, they go out and buy groceries, they pay their rent and they pay their mortgage. Maybe save up enough to take a vacation once in a while, and that shouldn't be too much for our state. Forty-four percent say they cannot make ends meet by the end of the month," said Gillum. 

"If Andrew's policies were in place, I wouldn't have made $15, I would have made $0 because I wouldn't have had a job. I don't want to replace Florida's jobs with kiosks, I don't want people starting out like me to not make it and not get ahead," said DeSantis. 

In the end, both candidates made their final case, and the president played a role.

"He's a stooge. It's my job everyday to be in the interest of the people of the state of Florida, not to appease Donald Trump," said Gillum. 

"He's running away from saying he wants to impeach Trump. He ran commercials two months ago that said impeach Trump. This is a little bit rich," said DeSantis. 

Both answered questions about controversies in their own campaigns, too. Gillum answered questions about federal corruption probes into Tallahassee city government, and DeSantis answered questions about taking money from racist groups donating to his campaign.

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