'My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler. And it hollered through this room,' Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said at a debate with former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis.
- Former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis said he should not be held accountable for his speeches at far-right events and donations he received from racist supporters.
- That was part of a heated gubernatorial debate between DeSantis and his Democratic opponent and mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum on Wednesday night.
- "How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement somebody makes?" DeSantis said at a debate, visibly agitated. "I am not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness."
- Gillum took note of DeSantis' answer and recounted an allegory: "My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler," Gillum said. "And it hollered through this room."
- The audience erupted in cheers.
Audience members attending the final gubernatorial debate between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis erupted in cheers after Gillum challenged DeSantis for giving speeches at far-right events and accepting donations from a person who called former President Barack Obama a racial slur.
"How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement somebody makes?" DeSantis said, visibly agitated. "I am not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness."
Gillum took note of DeSantis' answer and recounted an allegory: "My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler," Gillum said. "And it hollered through this room."
"Mr. DeSantis has spoken, first of all, he's got neo-Nazis helping him out in this state," Gillum said. "He has spoken at racist conferences, he's accepted a contribution, and would not return it, from someone who referred to the former president of the United States as a Muslim 'n—-r.'"
"When asked to return that money, he said no. He's using that money now to fund negative ads," Gillum added. "Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist."
DeSantis has spoken at at least four conferences hosted by conservative activists, including one who claimed that "the country's only serious race war, against whites, continues."
The former Republican lawmaker was also accused of accepting around $20,000 from a Republican activist who called Obama a "F—–G MUSLIM N—-R." DeSantis' campaign reportedly said none of the activist's donations were made in the general election, and that the campaign returned some of the money.
"I'm not responsible for it, reject it," DeSantis said to reporters at the time. "We're focused on our message, and we're focusing on what we're putting out."
The two candidates squared off in the debate on Wednesday evening in West Palm Beach, Florida, where a Florida poll shows Gillum leading by one percentage point — a statistical toss-up.