TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Florida Governor Rick Scott went from virtual unknown to the governor’s chair thanks to millions of his own dollars and his ability to hone a message.
He now runs the fourth most populous state in the country in one of the most economically difficult times in our history.
Scott and his policies are carrying him to the top of the tea party, but also angering many of the state’s more moderates. Scott is used to bad publicity though.
One of his most notorious jobs was his time as a health care CEO, which he eventually left after the company committed massive Medicare fraud on his watch.
But Scott is facing the challenges head-on. Despite a somewhat rocky relationship with the state legislature, and being elected by a razor-thin margin, he’s enjoying life at the top.
“As I travel the state, you can see people are excited about our state,” Scott said. “And they’re expanding their businesses here or moving their businesses here. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
To his critics, that light may end up being a freight train coming towards the state; but Scott always pushes forth a smile and stays on message.
His message is jobs, jobs, jobs. But, those jobs can’t be government jobs, which Scott is more than willing to sacrifice to deal with budget issues.
Even as CBS4’s Ted Scouten spoke to him about his new role as governor, and asked about how polarized Florida voters are, he sticks to the script.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat or independent,” Scott said. “You care about jobs. When I go out there and I talk about my plan, they see that I have a plan; they voted for my plan. They see I’m doing what I said I was going to do. This is fun.”
But, if legislators, protesters, or voters, have a problem with Scott’s direction, don’t expect him to be willing to compromise.
“I ran with a specific platform that I believe in,” Scott said. “And I’m going to continue down that platform.”