CPAC interview: Florida Governor Rick Scott

posted at 12:00 pm on February 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Republican National Convention will take place in Tampa, Florida this year, but Governor Rick Scott got a head start on conservative organizing with an appearance at CPAC this week. I interviewed Scott yesterday and asked how his plans to revitalize Florida’s economy have progressed, and Scott outlines the ways in which Florida’s economy has rebounded, thanks to lower taxes and less regulation after his election. The governor and I also discuss his decision to refuse federal funds for a high-speed rail line that Scott says was both unnecessary and too expensive, noting that Florida’s current high-speed rail solution requires 5/6ths of the costs to be subsidized. We compare these outcomes to those in states that went in different directions … such as Illinois:


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I wish Ed had asked Scott why he has failed to push ANY immigration bills against illegals, as he promised during the campaign – specifically to enact statewide E-Verify, as SC, GA and AL did over the past year, or to enact AZ-style laws, as he pledged to do. Alabama’s unemployment rate has plummeted since they enacted such a law, while Florida’s has remained stagnant, and illegals are flooding into the state. And now Scott is facing pressure for his broken promises on that issue.

-John Hill
Stand With Arizona

John Hill on February 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

THE SHIRT!
I CAN’T SEE!

KOOLAID2 on February 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Koolaid, I think Captain Ed is colorblind. Try to look away.

WhatNot on February 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Ed,

Great job being a “boots-on-the-ground” reporter.

It’s a heck of a whirlwind, isn’t it? I used to do it and it’s quite different from blogging in the sense that you have hard deadlines and however ready you are, there you are with whatever you have!

Hope you’re enjoying yourself, and thanks for the unique reports.

Technical difficulties are a pain, aren’t they? You can be all ready to report the story and then there’s something technical that divides your attention.

When I reported on Bobby Jindal’s July 2010 speech in Lafayette, La. on the Gulf Moratorium, it was a struggle to mess with a borrowed video camera. It was infuriating not having the technical side dialed in, cursing myself while editing it later for upload to the blogging world… as the clock ticked away that night and other reporters beat me to the punch with their stories.

So I can empathize with your frustration over the audio problems. Been there. It’s a humble feeling when the prosaic technical glitch gets in the way of all the hard work it took to get the interview. Back when I had a band, there was always some guitar player who had pawned his amp or something dumb like that the morning of the show, and instead of focusing on the show I was about to play, I would spend my pre-show quiet time soldering wires on a junkyard amp on deadline.

So your reporting skills are being tested, and it’s far from the worst thing to have your glitches be technical in nature, instead of being unable to ask intelligent questions, edit down the interview, and present a blog post, as you so ably are doing, despite the technical problems!

:-)

Technical stuff can be fixed; you are doing a great job!

-cane_loader

cane_loader on February 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

What I like about Ed’s reporting, from what I’ve seen so far, is that he lets the interviewee talk at length, without falling into the trap of nodding too often and seeming obsequious. This creates an interviewing situation in which the interview subject never feels too cozy, and allows Ed to redirect the interview in a way that appears that he has let the subject have his/her say.

Some reporters either smile and nod and say “yes,” robotically, or try to interrupt too often. Ed comes across as interested and fair, yet still impartial.

cane_loader on February 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM

did he call you Eric at the end? glad you posted this, Ed, but these videos seem a bit too scripted. they’re just giving out talking points. who are they endorsing for the nomination? florida is hosting the convention this year too–any thoughts on that? what’s he like to read? when did he become a conservative? i dunno, would be nice to hear something other than bullet points.

I’m born and raised floridian and there was a disturbance in the force when that orange dude named Charlie got the boot. thank goodness. this guy seems legit. i know the tea party helped slay that rail project, too.

Steven McGregor on February 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

This creates an interviewing situation in which the interview subject never feels too cozy,

What I mean by this is that by allowing the interviewee to talk at length, it forces him/her to talk on his own, at length, without being able to rely on the crutch of leading questions from the reporter.

A good example of leading questions is when a reporter interviews the winning quarterback after the game and basically states the answer to the question in the question, while it’s being asked. Thus, the athlete doesn’t have to do any thinking; instead he/she just has to agree with what the reporter said, and build on it. That’s “getting cozy.”

Ed’s not doing that here, and so the answers to his questions have a better chance of being new, interesting material.

cane_loader on February 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

any chance Scott could be on VEEP short list for Santorum or Newt?

Romney would go with Rubio (Jeb Jr of course).

PappyD61 on February 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Good job covering CPAC Ed.

jeanie on February 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

any chance Scott could be on VEEP short list for Santorum or Newt?

Romney would go with Rubio (Jeb Jr of course).

PappyD61 on February 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Since Rick Scott’s approval rating is hovering in the 20s, and his disapproval in the 60s, I’d say no.

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

any chance Scott could be on VEEP short list for Santorum or Newt?

Romney would go with Rubio (Jeb Jr of course).

PappyD61 on February 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Huh, Scott is one of the most unpopular governors in the country (and for good reason). Do you want someone with his garbage and lack of political achievements in the ticket? The real question is: who’s going to primary Scott if he runs for re-election?

joana on February 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

joana on February 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Honestly, he’s been okay; I think people just never want to give him a chance. He’s for sure going down to defeat, especially if Crist makes a comeback, which he probably will. The only people who could defeat him would be Atwater for sure, Bondi would be a very close race.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on February 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Lol. Floridians who stayed home or voted for this idiot deserve what they’ve received. Bought u all up with his crony capitalism dollars.

HotAirLib on February 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

What’s Gov. Scott doing that is so awful?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

As a Floridian, I am also wondering the answer to that question, Cindy. I would like to see him take up the illegal issue, yes, but didn’t expect everything to happen at once. Turning down that fed choo choo train money was huge, I thought. The few comments on here bashing him didn’t provide any specifics. And really, Florida is going to elect Christ, the Orange Late Night Law Firm Commercial guy? I have a hard time believing that.

ConArtist in Tampa on February 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

My biggest complaint about him is he isn’t touting any accomplishments. I gets lots of Twitter updates from guys like Scott Walker in WI, but don’t hear much from our Scott. I’d like to get weekly social media update blurbs at least.

ConArtist in Tampa on February 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

My parents still live in Florida. According to them, he’s just trotted out some pretty bizarre, heavy-handed policies, sometimes tainted by financial ties. One example is he signed an executive order that all state employees would have to undergo urine tests for drugs. Not only did that seem intrusive for people at desk jobs, but turns out Scott also owns a chain of drug test clinics who would make a hefty profit doing the tests for the state.

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

joana on February 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Honestly, he’s been okay; I think people just never want to give him a chance. He’s for sure going down to defeat, especially if Crist makes a comeback, which he probably will. The only people who could defeat him would be Atwater for sure, Bondi would be a very close race.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on February 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

He’s a hack and as unlikable as they come. The quicker he’s gone, the better for the GOP.

I’d like to see Jennifer Carroll running for governor. Probably a bad idea, considering she’d be easy to associate with Scott’s garbage. I’d love to see her resigning and running for congress on Connie Mack’s former district. Build her own base and then run statewide.

joana on February 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I believe he owned a group of urgent care practices that have been sold to Baptist Medical. Every job I have taken, including temporary jobs, have required me to take a drug test and usually tell you up front that random drug testing is always the employer’s prerogative. I know that Walgreen’s actually does it, even for their managerial employees.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

joana on February 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I like Lt. Gov. Carroll a lot but she has some baggage of her own that is bot associated with Gov. Scott.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on February 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’d be amazed if Crist could be elected dog catcher.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I believe he owned a group of urgent care practices that have been sold to Baptist Medical. Every job I have taken, including temporary jobs, have required me to take a drug test and usually tell you up front that random drug testing is always the employer’s prerogative. I know that Walgreen’s actually does it, even for their managerial employees.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

He was the CEO of a for profit medical healthcare company. He had to resign. Medicare fraud and some more fun things that occurred. He denied knowing about it and they couldn’t prove he did.
The company had to pay back millions.
This was the big story when he ran here.

Cindy is correct..company bought out..but he still has ties.

He rode the Tea Party wave into office.

He did sign on to drug testing for welfare recipients, last July 1 I believe. Of course many people were thrilled but the back lash huge. Big surprise. ACLU involved with lawsuits out the wazoo.

He has brought in some new companies to the state to do business. Small ones. Recently, a gun manufacturer relocating here outside Orlando. Brought in 50 jobs?

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I’d be amazed if Crist could be elected dog catcher.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

I know..you catch his Morgan and Morgan commercials yet?

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

LOL! Yep, who would use them?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Zanny the Nanny, you know the Casey Anthony case. Zineda Gonzalez is suing for defamation of character. Those have been her attorney’s. They are also involved in another high profile case here.
John Morgan has always given me the creeps.

For the people!

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Ya know Cindy, I spend so much time reading national/world news that I haven’t spent that much time reading on my own state. I am on info overload most of the time.

I do know some of what has gone down.

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I’m sure I am being unfair but there is an ambulance chaser vibe given off by lawyers who advertise so much on TV.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I actually voted for McCollumn in the primary, the Medicare accusations bothered me. I do spend to to much time on a national level so I don’t pay too much attention to local/state stuff. I am all for Gov. Scott turning down the money for the train. What is with liberals and trains?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I wouldn’t say your unfair. Morgan and Morgan has been around a long time. He seems to be quite the scum bag.

Here is a tidbit for you…

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2011/10/heres-your-invitation-to-the-obama-fundraiser-at-john-morgans-house.html

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM

How fitting!

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I actually voted for McCollumn in the primary, the Medicare accusations bothered me. I do spend to to much time on a national level so I don’t pay too much attention to local/state stuff. I am all for Gov. Scott turning down the money for the train. What is with liberals and trains?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

I was very conflicted. For reasons you named and others. I literally decided my vote the day of. I did vote for Scott. I felt McCollum was status quo/estab and didn’t impress me. I figured, lets change this up. Either way, I didn’t feel good about it.

Yes, the trains. A light rail was already approved before he came in-R’s were pissed thinking he was to blame (my understanding). He nixed the High Speed. Which I totally agree with.

Arguing for years here to build a rail from Orlando to Tampa..what the F for?

I will say, your area is so easy to get around in. I had to work in Jax a lot a couple years ago. I was afraid, like it would be so hard to get around. Nope, Jax is the easiest place to get from point A to B. Impressed.

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

How fitting!

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:28 PM

LOL- isn’t it though.

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Wasn’t their a train on the ballot once and it lost?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Wasn’t their a train on the ballot once and it lost?

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Yes, long ago. I was in college, I think.

They wanted a train to run from Disney area to downtown Orlando. For tourists and commuters.
If I am not mistaken.

We had Church Street and they were trying to make it family friendly downtown so that tourists would come. Restaurants, entertainment ect.. LOL….Church Street pretty much shut down. Down Town is clubs (big raids back in the ecstasy days and crime) bars, business, tattoo parlors and wig shops. (don’t ask me why…wig shops)?? I am like, how many tattoo and wig shops do we need exactly? :) Anyway..thats how I remember it. Those were my young days..didn’t pay attention much to political stuff. But yes, we voted NO.

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Good to see you Cindy. Taking off.

Take care.

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Scott is as good a governor as I have seen. Of course I have only been here,South Florida since 1946.He has very little in the way of “get along to go along skills.” He simply sees an abuse, a cost over run and solves the problem. Much like GW he has been blasted by the liberal media which owns the state and his negatives are the result. But as far as getting things done and running the state like a business he’s as good as we have ever had,just not a politician.

rodguy911 on February 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

My biggest complaint about him is he isn’t touting any accomplishments. I gets lots of Twitter updates from guys like Scott Walker in WI, but don’t hear much from our Scott. I’d like to get weekly social media update blurbs at least.

ConArtist in Tampa on February 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I agree. Now who is this guy again?

SansJeux on February 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

I think it was to run from Orlando to Miami. If you can’t win them over North & South, try East and West! Nice talking to you!

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM

I believe he owned a group of urgent care practices that have been sold to Baptist Medical. Every job I have taken, including temporary jobs, have required me to take a drug test and usually tell you up front that random drug testing is always the employer’s prerogative. I know that Walgreen’s actually does it, even for their managerial employees.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

No, he didn’t sell them. He said he “divested,” but by divested it turns out that he meant he transferred the holding to his wife’s name instead of his. That type of ducking and weaving has left a bad taste in people’s mouths, and has given even former supporters the impression that the guy is crooked.

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 5:44 PM

9.9% unemployment…must be about time to engineer another tax break for Florida land developers…you know, to make sure they can hit the ground running when the depression is over and the next great housing boom begins.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM

AngusMc on February 12, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I don’t care.

Cindy Munford on February 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Yes, the trains. A light rail was already approved before he came in-R’s were pissed thinking he was to blame (my understanding).

bazil9 on February 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Why? Florida’s legislature has been under GOP control since the mid-1960s.

Given the light rail layout, I can only surmise that Disney is somehow involved. They’ve also talked about running a line from Orlando to Vero Beach where Disney Cruises are headquartered (which would make more sense than from Orlando to Tampa).

On one hand, I’d say that if Disney wants that they should build it themselves. But on the other hand that would mean people losing their homes and property through Eminent Domain for the sake of a private venture, which I am totally against.

He nixed the High Speed. Which I totally agree with.

Me, too.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM