Update 8:17 a.m.: Scott's campaign now says he didn't refuse to take the stage and that it was a mix-up -- though it acknowledges that the fan was at issue in the moments before the debate. From Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers:
"So, let's get one thing clear: Rick Scott never refused to take the stage and debate. In fact, our campaign was not notified Charlie had even taken the stage because the last we heard, Crist was in an 'emergency meeting' with debate organizers pleading for his precious fan.
"But Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave, and toaster to debates -- none of that will cover up how sad his record as Governor was compared to the success of Governor Rick Scott."
On Wednesday night, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) reportedly refused (for a short time) to take the debate stage with former governor Charlie Crist (D), because Crist had a fan -- something he often uses during public appearances -- at his feet.
Governor Scott will not participate in this debate.— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 15, 2014
Gov, Rick Scott is refusing to show up at the press debate because Charlie Crist has a fan under his podium. This is not a joke it appears— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 15, 2014
Everyone, turn on your TVs now. It now appears Rick Scott will appear on stage. Scott said debate rules prohibited Crist from having a fan— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 15, 2014
OK. Rick Scott is now coming on stage. He will debate now.— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 15, 2014
But this is hardly the first time Crist's fan has made its way into the campaign. It's kind of his thing.
In fact, sometimes he uses two of them.
The Post's Ben Terris reported the following back in February:
At the previous stop, Crist bragged to the crowd that his finance director, a former Obama campaign staffer named Jessica Clark, had helped him raise more money (about $5 million in 2 1 /2 months) than any Democratic gubernatorial candidate had raised over a similar period.
But now, as we arrive at the hotel, Clark is nowhere to be seen. Crist sent her to Target. While Crist sits patiently in a chair, rubbing anti-glare cream on his face, Clark jumps a curb in her car, carrying a mini tower fan. Crist can’t be seen sweating. “I definitely broke a few laws to get this,” she says, bursting into the room with moments to spare. She puts the fan on the ground beside Crist. But it’s not hitting him quite right. So she kneels on her leaf-print skirt and holds it up, the cool air kissing Crist’s face as it glows in the spotlight.
“Sorry,” he mouths to her.
“Don’t write about this,” she mouths to me.
We're sure Ben is quite sorry about that one.
And then there's this:
I'm a fan of Charlie Crist pic.twitter.com/KoHvX0139C— Kathy Glass (@KthyGlass) October 16, 2014
Also, this exists.
And here's Scott's response as to why he was late to the stage:
And Crist's campaign points to the agreed-upon debate rules dictating that a fan was fair game:
Updated at 10:32 p.m.