Taxes and government spending took center stage in Tuesday night's debate between Florida's U.S. Senate candidates. The three-way contest is one of the marquee races in this year's midterm election.
Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio holds a comfortable lead over former Republican, now Independent Charlie Crist, and Democrat Kendrick Meet.
Meek and Crist need some type of game changer to catch Rubio. Both men tried to paint Rubio as an extreme candidate, but he wouldn't take the bait.
Instead, much of the debate focused on taxes and the Obama administration's controversial stimulus bill.
"There were other alternatives to the stimulus," Rubio said. "It wasn't about doing the stimulus or nothing at all. And it begins by acknowledging that jobs are not created by politicians."
"We have to cut taxes to put more of your hard-earned money into your pocket, and we have to do it for small businesses too," Crist said. "These aren't the wealthy."
"Mr. Rubio and Mr. Crist stand side by side in making sure that the special interests and the super wealthy get their tax cut, even those who ship jobs overseas," Meek said.
Although Meek and Rubio's campaigns sent e-mails of triumph following Tuesday's debate, it's the voters who will have the final say on Nov. 2.