Rick Scott: Republicans Will Rebound in 2014
Around the State
The 2014 election will be a marked improvement from the shock of 2012 because the focus will be on the accomplishments of the state, Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday after addressing members of the Republican Party of Florida in Orlando.
“I think one of the reasons the Republican Party will do extremely well in 2014 is we have a track record,” Scott said.
“We have a track record of job growth. We have a track record of paying down our debt. We have a track record of improving education. We’ve got a track record of housing prices up, tourism up. And I believe our economy is going to continue to grow rapidly.
“The Federal Reserve came out and said that in the next six months our economy is going to grow faster than it has grown since 2005.”
“We’re going to have a track record and we’re going to get our message out.”
At the RPOF annual meeting some remained stunned -- Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam admitted "We got our teeth kicked in" and "we didn't see it coming" -- as President Obama took Florida, dragging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, to victory and redistricting helped the GOP lose its supermajorities in both the Florida House and Florida Senate.
Scott and all three members of the Florida Cabinet will be up for re-election in two years and as party leaders retained the Republican Party of Florida leadership on Saturday the emphasis is squarely on 2014.
RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry vowed “We’re going to elect the members of our Cabinet.”
Both Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater described the party as a “team,” with Atwater noting the GOP has an all-star roster that's “like looking down a bench at DiMaggio and Musial.”
Addressing the party leaders at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Scott continued to focus on the gains made in the state since 2011 when unemployment was above 11 percent.
While many take the comparison as a slight at potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who was Florida’s Republican governor during the recession, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said that Scott doesn’t emulate President Obama.
“There is not a moment that Barack Obama can’t say this one word, he can’t walk by a camera without saying this word, every time someone talks about a challenge, he says 'inherited,'” Atwater said.
“Rick Scott says that’s an issue. I’ve got a moment in time. I’ve got the charge. I’m going to work with everybody I know to solve it.”
Asked about a potential Crist match-up in 2014, Scott said he will run the same kind of race as he did in 2010, focusing on what he intends to accomplish.
“It’s going to be focused on our track record of holding government accountable, reducing taxes, reducing regulations, getting the job market going, getting housing coming back and getting exports up, improving education,” Scott said. “That’s what I’m going to talk about.”
Scott was greeted at the RPOF meeting with a standing ovation.
Florida Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, tweeted that Scott was “sounding strong at the RPOF meeting.”
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.