Confident Scott: ‘I was shocked!’ over Sink iCheatby Dara Kam | October 26th, 2010
SPRING HILL – A beaming Rick Scott kicked off a seven-day sweep of Florida leading up to Election Day assuring supporters in Pasco and Hernando counties of the Republican’s victory over Democratic gubernatorial opponent Alex Sink and taking the high road over Sink’s cell phone faux pas during last night’s debate.
Scott’s bus tour began with an unexpected boost – the “iCheat” scandal that cast a cloud over Sink’s campaign. Sink broke the rules by taking an electronic message on a cell phone during a commercial break during the last of two live televised debates. Sink later fired the aide who sent her the message.
“I was shocked. I mean, I was shocked. You know the rules. You follow the rules,” Scott said with a look of disbelief when questioned by reporters early Tuesday morning. “She knew the rules. If somebody came in and tried to show me an e-mail I’d have said look, those aren’t the rules.”
Sink took the message after hammering Scott for a lack of integrity evidenced by his former hospital chain’s $1.7 billion fine for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
Scott quickly used Sink’s cell phone incident to strike back at his opponent for ducking questions about her own business transgressions, including a $1.65 million fine paid by her former bank for selling risky securities to investors, many of whom were seniors.
“It’s pretty consistent. She knew the rules. She didn’t have to read the e-mail. She did. That’s what she does. She never takes responsibility personally for what she does…She just fires people,” he said.
When asked if he would have fired his aide as Sink did, Scott didn’t miss a beat.
“I wouldn’t have read the e-mail,” he said.
A pumped-up Scott was accompanied by his wife Ann, mother Esther, daughter Jordan Kandah, running-mate Jennifer Carroll and Grover Norquist, head of the national “Americans for Tax Reform” movement.
The entourage began the day at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast with about 100 supporters in New Port Richey at the Brew City Grill.
At a second stop in Spring Hill, Scott reiterated his plan to bring jobs to Florida and stayed on his message of linking Sink to President Obama, drawing boos from another 100-plus audience at the Timber Pines Community Center.
“We are going to win. It’s like a rock band out there,” Scott said, referring to the tour bus that will be home for the next week.
Scott said he’s “feeling great” and excited about the coming week.
“We’re going to talk to individuals just like you because you know what? That’s how you win elections,” he said.