Democrats Get Aggressive during Debate

TAMPA -

The Democratic candidates for governor appeared more similar than separate during the first 20 minutes of debate.

Both State Senator Rod Smith and U-S Representative Jim Davis would de-emphasize the use of the FCAT in grading schools and both support the death penalty.

Their differences surfaced when Davis asked Smith to denounce an independent group's TV ad that criticizes the congressman's attendance record in Congress.

Smith denied being a part of the attack ad.

SMITH: I've had an opportunity to see briefly the television ads. I have had my staff check to make sure that everything represented in that is truthful. It is not a personal attack, it is an attack on the consequences of your not going to work when you should have and making votes you should not have made that weren't in the best interest of the consumers of Florida.

Davis rebutted that assessment.

DAVIS: Rod, you just said you're not a part of this ad. That's the same thing George Bush said about the Swift Boat ads. I expected something better in this Democratic primary.

Smith was equally accusatory in his questioning of Davis' congressional service. According to the Associated Press, Davis has a 76.8 percent attendance record for the current 109th session.

To hear the full debate, click here.

Copy and paste the below link into iTunes (select Advanced, then Subscribe to Podcast and paste it into the box).

http://www.wusf.usf.edu/Podcast/Florida_Debates.xml

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