CNN calls off Senate debate after Nelson, Scott can't agree on new date

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
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CNN announced Wednesday that it won't reschedule the U.S. Senate debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson, which was called off because of Hurricane Michael.

The debate, originally set for Tuesday, was postponed after the Category 4 hurricane devastated the Florida Panhandle. The news network said a new date and time for the debate would be announced later. However, on Wednesday CNN announced the debate had been canceled.

"Regrettably, Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott are unable to agree on a new date to hold the U.S. Senate debate originally scheduled to air Tuesday, Oct. 16," read a tweet by CNN communications. "Therefore, the CNN Florida Senate debate has been canceled."

Nelson, the incumbent, and Scott, Florida's current governor, took to social media to point fingers at each other.

"Senator Nelson is backing out of the debate that CNN proposed for October 25 and I have already agreed to. I hope he reconsiders," Scott tweeted from his campaign account.

Nelson apparently objected because early voting starts on Monday.

"Rick Scott refused to debate before early voting starts en masse Oct. 22," Nelson for U.S. Senate tweeted. "But we still intend to hold him accountable for the poor job he’s done and for stuffing his pockets in office."

A spokesperson for Scott's campaign said the governor previously accepted four debates with CNN, Telemundo, WJXT and FOX News in advance of early voting and before the hurricane.

While Scott is in the Florida Panhandle for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts he has handed over campaigning to his wife, Ann Scott.

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