Ridings, a debate sponsor who turns out to have ties to Rick Scott, said the word "fans" was added by his group and Leadership Florida. According to the Tampa Bay Times, when asked if Scott's campaign also requested it, Ridings said he didn't know.
Yeah, right. Who else would add something so stupid? What Ridings didn't know was that Scott would try to use this as a pretext to allow him to get out of the debate. The article goes on to say that Crist never agreed to the change, and notated that on his agreement. Even the shady debate sponsors, who put out a press release blaming Crist at the behest of Scott's campaign, admitted to accepting Crist's agreement (along with the fact that this was trivial).
As bad as that was, this tidbit from the article was most telling:
Scott's advisers urged Wendy Walker of Leadership Florida and Dean Ridings of the Florida Press Association to end the debate before it started. But the host station, Miami's WFOR, refused to pull the plug.Scott's own debate advisor, Mr. Brett O'Donnell, tried to use this to cancel the entire debate over the fan. It failed, because anyone with one functioning brain cell, even Rick Scott supporters, don't believe that Scott refused to come out over a 1-foot, 10 dollar fan.
I don't blame O'Donnell for trying because he knows more than anyone that his candidate cannot answer questions. (This is now painfully obvious to everyone who stuck around to watch the actual debate.)