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Gov. Scott talks unemployment, FAU ‘Jesus’ exercise at Post editorial board

by Andrew Abramson | April 8th, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott spent an hour this morning meeting with The Palm Beach Post editorial board.

Highlights included…

- Scott touted the state’s shrinking unemployment numbers and credited it to his administration. Scott said unemployment rose from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent in the four years before he took office and is now at 7.7 percent, which he said is around the national average.

- Scott defended his decision to intervene in the issue regarding FAU professor Deandre Poole’s class exercise that had students voluntarily step on a piece of paper with Jesus’ name on it as a lesson in the power of symbols. A student said he was asked not to return to class after refusing to do the exercise and Scott then said he would look into the suspension. Poole, also the Democratic county vice chairman, later said the student was disciplined only because he physically threatened the professor.

“I heard about what happened to the student and I was concerned about the student,” Scott said. “When something like that happens we ought to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I was primarily concerned about how the student was suspended. … From my understanding it didn’t make any sense that he’d be suspended based on what I read. I asked for an inquiry. I asked Chancellor Brogan to look into it. I don’t want this to keep happening at our universities.”

Scott said “I don’t think people ought to be stomping on the name Jesus” but said later that classroom lessons are “their (the universities) decisions, not mine.”

- Scott said that Obamacare is now “the law of the land.”

“The Supreme Court upheld it, Gov. Romney lost the election … It’s the law of the land. The federal government is going to pay 100 percent and I can’t in good conscience deny people who don’t have healthcare access.”

- Scott defended teacher evaluations for merit pay.

“I believe in evaluations,” he said. “I’ve been in business and I know when you measure things they improve … All evaluation systems improve over time, it’s no different than in business. We want to have our students have achievement and make sure they have a better chance of living their dreams through a better education system.”

Scott repeatedly said that his biggest priorities this year are jobs and increasing teacher pay. He wants a $2,500 raise for every teacher. Scott said his new budget has an additional $1.2 billion for education. He said he is not flip-flopping despite slashing the education budget when he took office.

“I walked in with a $3.7 billion deficit and I had to balance the budget,” Scott said. “The state is increasing borrowing every year and we are at-risk for downgraded credit ratings. I was willing to make tough choices and it worked.”

- After The Post reported issues with Citizens Insurance doing unnecessary inspections and overcharging homeowners, Scott partly blamed the insurance board and said he’s only made two of the eight board appointments.

Scott said “they’ve given outlandish raises”, issued expense reports that included reimbursement for alcohol and gotten rid of the integrity unit.

“I’ve asked they review to make sure all those inspections are proper,” Scott said.

- On texting and driving, Scott wouldn’t go as far to say he favors a ban, instead saying there “are a bunch of different proposals” that need to be looked at closely.

After some prodding, Scott said “I don’t believe people ought to be texting and driving.”

- Scott called himself “a strong supporter of the second amendment” and said that armed guards should be up to individual school districts. If the state requires armed guards at schools, the state should pay for it, he said.

- Scott said a path to citizenship should only be considered after the federal government figures out how to secure borders and creates an immigration policy “that doesn’t put our employers at an economic at an economic disadvantage to employers around the country and a visa program that doesn’t hurt our companies.”

See the video here.


25 Responses to “Gov. Scott talks unemployment, FAU ‘Jesus’ exercise at Post editorial board”

  1. Floriduh Says:

    If Florida is on par with the national average, maybe it’s because the country as a whole is doing better. I’ve always found it very funny that politicians take the credit when the economy fares well, but blame it on others when it’s going bad.
    The reality is: it’s US, the people of this country, who make the economy run. We wake up every morning and go to work. We don’t brag about it. We just do it. We work hard, we work smart, we improve things and give them value. But there will always be politicians making big speeches about how it’s in fact because of THEM, and THEM alone, that the economy turned around. Maybe they should take Macroeconomics 101.

  2. Rick Scott Fraud Says:

    On July 16, 1997, the FBI executed the largest coordinated raid in agency history, with 500 agents in six states seizing 14,000 boxes worth of evidence from 36 Columbia/HCA offices.


    Scott was ousted from the company in the ensuing uproar, leaving with an estimated $300 million in stock and compensation.

    Schilling remained in limbo for six more years. Two Columbia/HCA executives from Southwest Florida were sentenced to prison, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.

  3. TrafficAvenger Says:

    Dog and pony show.

    He is on the campaign trail and knows he is on the losing side of everyone. He thinks President Obama bought the last election and by passing out teacher raises he can buy their votes. He fails to understand that folks did not vote for President Obama in so much as people voted against the G.O.P. and their archaic, religious, corporations are people too views.

    Leaders and followers of the G.O.P. can’t see just how pissed the voters are less alone why they are fed up with there ways in the first place. As the members of the G.O.P. continue down the path of doing the bidding for the church from women’s health care to the gutting of the public education system trying to improve the numbers of the private schools at the cost of the public school system.

    The mass’s have had it with the G.O.P.and the G.O.P. will never figure it out. Even after they lose the election on the 4th. of Nov. 2014, they will call some meeting in some high dollar hotel and they will declare the new and improved, re-branded here to save us all. Again.

    It is getting hard to tell who is the bigger joke. Gov. Rick Scott or the leaders of the G.O.P..

    Dumb and dumber yet.

  4. tv2168com Says:

    Hack again?!

  5. clean house! Says:

    Republicans get and maintown power by throwing around religion, guns, and fake patriotism. Once in office they line their pockets and sell out the ordinary citizen to the highest bidder (Private prisons, charter schools, home and auto insurance etc.). They convince the masses to vote against their own self interest and their only real loyalty is to themselves and to corporations to whom they have sold their soul.

  6. spence Says:

    The charismatic leader has so much to impart to the citizens of Florida. He must sadly believe in his own nonsense, for it looks like he will have the audacity to run for re-election. Would rather he just runs away.

  7. Koch Brother Says:

    Scott can not even put words together to make a sentence. He BOUGHT the governorship, and is ATTEPTING to BUY his reelection. $2500 for all Teachers! Teachers know what kind of Governor he is by what he did his first two years!!


  8. OK, So What Says:

    If Charlie Crist is the best the Dems can muster up for governor, Scott is a shoo-in for a second term.

  9. big help!! Says:

    after scott and jeb bush, i think crist would slide right in without a problem. people are tired of all the nonsense and corruption.

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  12. OK, So What Says:

    @big help!!, and we saw from Crist’s failed Senate run, even more people are tired of his two-faced hypocrisy.

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  15. jac Says:

    By overtesting seniors Scott denied them money that would go to their healthcare.When did he ever get a heart about healthcare. He was voted in to STOP O’BAMACARE. What a failure for his and Bondi voters. Scott doesn’t think cellphones are issues but guns are. Still stands behind big business when it comes to immigrants. Scott didn’t anything for our economy it fixing itself. By the way he talks you would think he was Bernacke. This state is far from out of trouble. We pretty much are still double and triple dipping and still handing out salaries ,pensions and entitlements like we are printing money in this state. Still overpaying property and car insurance while adding more fees. We still have a fragile Housing market with many more house that still need to foreclose. Oh yes still trying to get rid of our Public School System because we can’t afford to pay the almost lowest paid teachers in this state.

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