Bush endorses Scott, saying he “has delivered”by John Kennedy | November 12th, 2013
Former Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed the man currently holding the job Tuesday –praising Rick Scott for his leadership “when Florida needed it most.”
“It’s simple why I’m supporting Rick Scott,” Bush said in a statement. “He campaigned on a platform of getting Florida’s economy back on track, and has delivered on that promise.”
Bush also included in the endorsement a dig at congressional Democrats and President Obama — who is expected to eventually weigh-in with support for the man sandwiched between Bush and Scott in the governor’s office, Charlie Crist, a Republican turned Democratic who is now that party’s frontrunner for his old job.
“While President Obama and Democrats in Congress are fixated on penalizing success, Governor Scott is pursuing policies to restore prosperity for more Floridians while prioritizing core state responsibilities, including increasing the state’s investment in education,” Bush said.
“Rick Scott demonstrated leadership when Florida needed it most, and he is the best candidate to lead our state for four more years,” Bush concluded.
The timing of the Bush endorsement is difficult to gauge. Speculation has been mounting for weeks that Bush plans to name Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, as his choice for lieutenant governor for the election ahead, and that the selection was at least partially designed to cement the overall support of the Bush network for Scott’s re-election bid.
Thrasher was House Speaker when Bush first took office, and steered the new governor’s education, tax cut and lawsuit-limiting policies through the Legislature. Thrasher likened his relationship with Bush as that which existed between Col. Tom Parker and Elvis Presley.
Thrasher, though, continues to deny being talked to about the job. And Tuesday Scott also said he was still in search of someone to fill the lieutenant governor slot, now vacant since Jennifer Carroll resigned in the spring.
Crist formally announced his campaign last week and has since been vigorously fund-raising. Although Crist does not have to file his first campaign finance report until next month, Scott reported Tuesday that he raised $824,835 last month — bringing his cash-on-hand to $17 million.