Students who attended the Oct. 15 debate between Florida gubernatorial candidates Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist on the campus of Broward College were required to attend a coaching session at which school officials provided a scripted answer to media questions.
The smoking gun is a document provided to The Daily Caller by Turning Points USA, a conservative student group.
The document, which is you can see in full below, is entitled simply “Coaching Session.”
It shows that officials at the taxpayer-funded college carefully chose “80 students out of 60,000″ for the distinct privilege of attending the 2014 Gubernatorial Debate hosted at Broward College.”
The document contains eight bullet points. Most are uninteresting boilerplate: Dress nice. Be on time for the shuttle bus.
However, the seventh bullet point, which is summarized as “Addressing the media,” instructs debates attendees to avoid endorsing either candidate.
“The debate is going to be a highly publicized event,” the public school officials told students at the mandatory training session. “Just prior and after the debate, you may be asked who you felt ‘won or lost’ the debate. Broward College does not want to endorse either candidate. As a representative of Broward College, we would like for any possible answer to be, ‘It was a good debate and after tonight I have a lot to think about.'”
The student who provided the document to Turning Points USA wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of administrative retaliation.
Another bullet point in the document explains that “Broward College must follow the rules and regulations set forth by the agencies putting on the event.”
Ironically, the debate will be most remembered — if it is remembered at all — because Gov. Scott temporarily refused to debate Crist, his Democratic opponent, after accusing Crist of using an illegal electronic fan under his podium. (VIDEO: Did Charlie Crist Have A Banned Electronic Fan?)
A Facebook page entitled “2014 Florida Gubernatorial Debate at Broward College” features a short video billed as: “Check out what Broward College students had to say about the debate!”
The video heavily stresses that the campus was “like a beehive” because of the debate and that the selection of the campus as the debate site caused students to learn about “the candidates and politics and things that are gonna affect Florida.”