Politics

Jeff Atwater Says Florida Needs Rick Scott for Eight Years

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: September 30, 2011 3:55 AM

Jeff Atwater

CFO Jeff Atwater | Photo: Marcus Joseph

Defending Florida's embattled governor, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater says, "We need Rick Scott for eight years."

Speaking to Sunshine State News on Thursday, Atwater praised Scott's "bias for action" in downsizing state government and boosting private-sector jobs.

"We need a consistent player, and I will do everything I can to help," Atwater said.

Earlier, speaking to the Indian River County Tea Party in Vero Beach, Atwater declared, "Scott doesn't give a hoot" about negative press or lackluster poll numbers.

"We can't worry about that. We have the right guy," the former state Senate president said.

Noting that Scott "does not run a big press office," Atwater said the governor "is a straight talker who is just doing the job."

And in a slap at newspapers whose editorial boards universally endorsed Scott's Democratic opponent last year, Atwater observed, "People are getting far better informed through other media, outlets which have a far better presentation of the facts."

Calling on the tea party audience to "get behind" Scott, Atwater thanked the governor "for the arrows he is taking."

One of those arrows landed this week when a Public Policy Polling survey reported that 37 percent of Florida Republicans wanted "someone else" as governor.

Last week, a Quinnipiac poll showed the general electorate split 37-37 on whether they liked the governor as a person -- and that was an improvement from August, when 34 percent liked him and 45 percent disliked him.

The PPP survey, along with Atwater's high-profile presence at the Presidency 5 summit in Orlando last weekend, fueled speculation that the CFO is eyeing higher office, perhaps even the governor's mansion.

"He's raising money three years out. He's hired additional staff. He was in campaign mode at Presidency 5," said Peter Schorsch, a center-left blogger who runs the political website, SaintPetersBlog.com.

"Atwater may not be running for governor, but he is running so that in case Rick Scott doesn't, he is best positioned to pick up the GOP mantle."

Schorsch called the PPP numbers "indicative of a GOP base that still isn’t healed from the bitter 2010 primary contest. Scott’s numbers are particularly weak with moderate Republicans -- 56 percent of whom say they’d replace him."

Atwater sought to quash any notion that he has his sights set on higher office.

"If I get just one term, I'd be happy to go home and improve my net income," said the banker, whose family residence is in Palm Beach County.

As for Florida under Scott, Atwater pointed to the state's reduced "top-line" spending and continued strong credit rating -- a sharp contrast from what's going on in Washington, D.C.

"Tell me that leaders don't matter," he said to a burst of applause.

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.


Comments (15)

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Donna
11:42AM OCT 3RD 2011
Jeff Atwater needs to see eye doctor, a hearing doctor, a head doctor, ah yea! the Ear Nose and throat doctor will do and most important he needs his head and heart re examined. Is this guy getting paid big money to say these things. I can make a bet on it. NO ONE in their right mind will say that. All of them needs to GO AWAY, and see a REAL DOCTOR, that isnt stealing from the government and be re-examine to see what is wrong with them. Why Does POLITICS make people act stupid, and say stupid things. There is NO time for stupidiness here, people, You are Wasting my tax money on garbage who has NO interest in the safetiness of my community, our schools, our health care or even our jobs. their only interest how much they can steal from you legally. Shame on the Politicians who thinks of themselves and their big egos sitting on their shoulders.Liars.
Donna
11:37AM OCT 3RD 2011
Jeff Atwater needs to see eye doctor, a hear doctor, a head doctor, ah year the Ear Nose and throat doctor will do and he needs his head and heart re examined. Is this guy getting paid big money to say these thing. I can make a bet on it. NO ONE in their right mind will say that. All of them needs to GO AWAY, and see a REAL DOCTOR, that isnt stealing from the government and be reexamine to see what is wrong with with. Why Does POLITICS make people act stupid, say stupid and be studpid. There is NO time for stupidiness here people. You are Wasting my tax money on garbage who has NO interest in the safetiness of my community, our schools, our health care or even our jobs. their only interest how much they can steal from you legally.
Robin Miller
1:18PM OCT 1ST 2011
Driving off Florida's better teachers and releasing criminals early will *not* bring more employment to Florida.
Sherrie Barnes
7:58PM SEP 30TH 2011
If government would stop in the middle of making decisions for the people in the Florida and asked themselves "What would God do?" Government put God on your committees.
Linda Nissen
4:49PM SEP 30TH 2011
Don't know what kind of kool-aid he has been drinking but Rick Scott is a disgrace. It is not his doing that we still have a decent credit rating. It is not his doing that there are any jobs added. He has done nothing but demean and try to destroy anything good in Florida. He is taking us down the tubes..so please please do not even broach the subject of 4 more years of Rick...OMG...I would leave the country...
Sheila Jones
4:44PM SEP 30TH 2011
Anyone who thinks Rick Scott is what this State needs will also lose my vote - Scott is certifiably insane, he's a crook, and in 8 years will manage to destroy the Florida we've built along with our infrastructure, environment, and tourism. I will never vote for him or anyone else that is supporting him.
David
3:52PM SEP 30TH 2011
""Scott doesn't give a hoot" about negative press or lackluster poll numbers."

Sad. The polls represent the people - isn't that who he works for?
BeachD1
3:49PM SEP 30TH 2011
Jeffy Jeffy, you too need to be fired. Scott is an accomplished thief, and we want DIEBOLD voting technologies to be removed from Florida.
deepar
3:13PM SEP 30TH 2011
AGAIN THEY FORGET THEY WORK FOR US, REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR YOUR INTEREST, NOT THERES, THEY DONT GIVE or care about any of us!!! make your vote count, load & clear, we are done with all the bs!!
wawoo
8:00AM SEP 30TH 2011
I think an 8 year sentence for Rick Scott would be light , more like 10 to 20 for his sure to be criminal actions, already has a good start.
Bob
7:17AM SEP 30TH 2011
Higher Tolls and of course the Rick Scott Choo Choo!!
darrell triggs
5:51AM SEP 30TH 2011
Take a like at my new way to vote saving millions for the state & county's go to triggsvotingsystem.com
chris ciampaglia
5:30PM OCT 14TH 2011
Hi







Hi Darrell, Bev and I have been trying to get into your web site but have been unable to. Geting to the site where I am now is as far as we could get. What are we doing wrong??? We are anxious to see your home page. Please advise.
By the way, your message above says "Take a LIKE" instead of "Take a LOOK".......You might want to correct that. Sorry for being so crictical. I'm just trying to help!! Bev will be sending out your message to all stateside people on our list. We wish y0u good fortune, you deserve it. Bev and Chris
RepublicanConscience
5:37AM SEP 30TH 2011
Rick Scott needs to say on for 20 years. Just change the rules like Bloomberg did in NYC.

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