At Tampa rally, Biden calls election fight for ‘soul of America’

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Bill Nelson, worked together as they dealt with the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Michael, which caused massive damage this month in the Panhandle and the Big Bend region.

Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the audience on Monday. "Andrew Gillum hasn't supported law enforcement, he signed an anti-police pledge, and he didn't do anything tonight to calm the nerves of people rightfully concerned about public safety under his failed leadership".

"You need to be able to work with the administration to be able to get the dollars we deserve", said DeSantis, who repeatedly referred to Gillum as "Andrew" throughout the debate. "You have more flooding, you have more water and that's something that, as governor, I'm going to take on full throttle".

"The truth is I'm black. So far as I know I will die black", he said, adding that "the only color people care about is the blue-green algae" and red tide contaminating Florida waterways.

Meanwhile, a small, but significant portion of the state's Republican base remains consumed by recovery efforts nearly two weeks after hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle. Pollsters SSRS said the sample included 32 percent Democrats, 29 percent Republicans and 39 percent independent of third-party voters.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has been embroiled in a tense fight against rival Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor's race.

The comments came in response to questions about the state's preparedness and response in the wake of a school shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and faculty members were killed.

It wasn't the first time Gillum has played the race card since he shocked the Florida political world after winning the Democratic primary for governor. NAACP President Derrick Johnson said his organization is "microfocused" on boosting black turnout this fall.

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Since the opening days of the general election between Gillum and DeSantis, race has been a subtext, with DeSantis receiving criticism for his choice of words during an interview with Fox News. Standing at her front door, she didn't hesitate when a conservative volunteer asked whether she was going to vote. Both describe themselves as pro-Israel: On his site, Gillum says "I believe strongly in the unique relationship between the United States and Israel" and that he "will continue to push back against anti-Israel efforts, like BDS".

"I am proud to receive the endorsement of so many leaders from Puerto Rico", DeSantis said on Saturday.

Earlier, DeSantis deflected a question from moderator Jake Tapper of CNN about whether he considers Trump a good role model for children.

At one point asking him, "Did you pay for the Hamilton ticket, or did the undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent?"

"He's used the office to benefit himself", DeSantis said.

Meanwhile, a flood of money is shaping the Florida elections.

The subject of race continues to be at the center of the governor's race in Florida.

But Republicans pooh-poohed the former vice-president's appearance for Nelson and Gillum, saying he was "wasting his time". His campaign has said the ticket was given to him by his brother Marcus, who attended the show with him, the agent and a lobbyist friend, Adam Corey, who volunteered as finance chair on Gillum's 2014 mayoral campaign.

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