The results of the Republican Party of Floridas straw poll will set in motion the economic future of the nation for decades to come, Gov. Rick Scott told delegates from throughout Florida Saturday.
Scott, who hasnt publicly endorsed a candidate in the GOP race, advised delegates before they voted that whoever is elected president in 2012 will decide policies that determine if the United States remains the worlds largest economy or whether we fall behind China and begin a slow economic slide to global irrelevance.
Thanks to President Obama, China doesnt have to threaten us with missiles, they just have to threaten to cut off our credit cards, Scott said while giving the keynote address during the RPOFs straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center.
Scott highlighted the important role Florida will play in 2012 election as the battleground state intends to be one of the first large states on the presidential primary calendar. And he noted that the results of the Sept. 24 straw poll will strongly impact the Florida primary when held in January or February.
Scott noted that in the three prior RPOF straw polls held in Florida, the candidate eventually became the GOPs national ticket candidate: Ronald Reagan in 1980; George H.W. Bush in 1987; and Bob Dole in 1995.
You, the delegates, will send a very strong signal about who will be Floridas choice, Scott said. As Florida goes, so goes the nation. And as you go, so goes Florida.
That makes the delegates voting in the straw poll some of the most important people in America, Scott said.
Your choice today will set in motion a chain of events that could ultimately determine whether the American dream lives or dies, Scott said. This dream serves as an inspiration all over the world.
Im convinced that the Republican candidate who wins Florida will become our nominee for president and, even more importantly, Im convinced that our Republican candidate will defeat Barack Obama in 2012.
Saying the GOP field has an impressive roster of candidates, Scott said delegates need to listen carefully to each of the candidates, consider their experiences, their philosophies and if they will stand up for conservative, Republican principles.
After nearly three years of the current administration, it is time to reacquaint ourselves with the notion that the freedom to succeed also means the freedom to fail, Scott said. That is the trade at the core of a country that is founded on the sacred right of the individual.It is governments proper role to equip everyone to compete and to offer a level playing field for the competitors, but it is not the governments role to pick the winners and losers.
He added that the next president must have a realistic plan that balances the federal budget.
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