Watch Florida Dem candidate Andrew Gillum take aim at Ron DeSantis during debate: 'Racists believe he's a racist'
Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis (left) and Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum (right). Image via screengrab.

During a gubernatorial debate Wednesday, Florida's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum confronted his GOP opponent Ron DeSantis for appealing to racists.

The exchange began after the debate's moderator asked DeSantis about comments he made the day after Gillum, who currently serves as the mayor of the state's capital in Tallahassee, became the Democratic nominee for governor.

Earlier in the year, the GOP nominee urged Floridians not to "monkey it up" and vote for Gillum — a phrase many considered to be racist because the Democratic nominee is black.

The moderator also asked DeSantis why he lauded the controversial conservative writer David Horowitz and juxtaposed that support with racist comments the think tank leader had made, including his belief that there is a "race war" against white people.

DeSantis hit back by saying Horowitz had not made those statements when he praised him, and the moderator noted that he had.

"How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement somebody makes?" the GOP nominee said, causing gasps from the audience.

When it was his turn to speak, Gillum began with an old adage in reference to his opponent.

"My grandmother used to say 'a hit dog will holler,'" he said.

DeSantis, the Democrat noted, "has got neo-Nazis helping him out in this state, he has spoken at racist conferences, he's accepted a contribution and would not return it from someone who referred to the former president of the United States as a Muslim [N-word]."

"I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist," Gillum said. "I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist."

Watch the exchange below via WPBF.