Morning Vid: Crist vs. Rubio Produces Few Fireworks

The Republican Senate candidates have a surprisingly civil debate

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Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio have waged a contentious primary battle in the race for the Senate seat in Florida, trading personal barbs as Rubio has emerged as a far-right "rock star". When the Florida governor and the increasingly popular state representative squared off in an extended debate Sunday on Fox News, sparks were expected to fly.

Instead, the two Republicans engaged in a sober 30-minute debate that was more suited to policy wonks than rabble-rousers. Crist and Rubio argued over Crist's support for the stimulus package, Rubio's record as a Florida senator, and the possibility of Crist running as an independent. Though the pair got in their share of sharp comebacks, the exchanges were mostly civil and issue-oriented. In other words, the opposite of Andrew Breitbart and David Shuster's furious showdown.

Conservative bloggers continued their positive coverage of Rubio, proclaiming him the victor of the debate. "Rubio won," declared the National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez. "Crist never really made the case why you would vote for Crist. He just aimed to hope some of his attacks on Rubio would stick enough that Floridians wouldn't gamble on a relatively new face."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.