Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.) will debate his primary opponent for the Republican Senate nomination on national TV next month.
Crist and Rubio have both agreed to appear on Fox News Sunday on March 28th. The Crist campaign has agreed to a Meet the Press appearance as well, originally schedule for March 7th, but Rubio will only agree to a Meet appearance if it's televised AFTER Fox.
"FOX Network has shown serious interest in this primary campaign since day one and was the first national news organization to extend an invitation for a debate," a spokesman for Rubio tells RealClearPolitics. "Marco Rubio gladly accepted immediately and will be happy to debate Charlie Crist on Meet the Press or anywhere else after he has kept his commitment to have the first debate on FOX on March 28."
Nationally televised debates are rare for a state-level primary. In this case, the appearances reinforce how dramatic the Florida race has become. Crist entered the race as the overwhelming favorite only to see Rubio, with support from conservative activist, steadily gain ground.
Almost as much as Democrats, Crist, who supported the stimulus package, has become a victim of Tea Party populism.