March 27th, 2013
08:56 AM ET
2 years ago

Rick Scott: Florida to be better 'braggers' than Texas

(CNN) - Gov. Rick Scott in Florida has a message for his counterpart in Texas: Bring it on.

The first term governor, who's struggling with low approval ratings, said Wednesday he wants Florida-not the Lone Star State–to become the state known for job growth. And as he approaches re-election next year, Scott is staying focused the economy.

"Gov. (Rick) Perry's always bragging about how great Texas is, well look, 230,000 people moved here last year," Scott said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

During Perry's campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the Texas governor often pointed to his state's ability to largely weather the nation's economic downturn in the previous few years. He's also known for traveling to other states to lure businesses to Texas because of its emphasis on low taxes.

Scott, however, argued Florida is becoming the new haven for job growth.

Pointing to the decrease in unemployment since he took office in January 2011, Scott said Florida is "going to become better braggers than Texas about how we're getting more jobs."

The unemployment level in Florida has dropped from 10.9% to 7.8%, as of January. At the same time, the national jobless rate also fell from 9.1% to 7.9%. It now stands at 7.7% as of February.

"We've turned our economy around," Scott said. "There's a stunning contrast to the four years before I became governor. It's jobs, jobs, jobs."

According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 250,000 jobs have been created since Scott became governor-including about 127,000 jobs in the last year. Industries that have especially seen strong growth included construction and hospitality.

Texas, meanwhile, added about 310,000 jobs in the last year, and California added about 250,000–though both states have higher populations than Florida.

When Scott campaigned for governor in 2010, he ran on a platform of jobs and promised to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. Economic forecasts already predicted that a million jobs would be added during that same time period.

As of last month, there are 290,000 job openings in the state, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. "You'll love it," Scott said on the show, making a plea for viewers to move to the Sunshine State. "We have better weather."

Despite the positive economic numbers, Scott's approval ratings have been less than desirable. And while he hasn't announced that he's running for a second term, a group supportive of Scott launched a new web ad this week that could potentially turn into an election ad.

His approval rating, however, hasn't topped 41% since May 2011, according to Quinnipiac University polls. His most recent number was 36% in a survey released March 20.

The same survey indicated that only 32% of voters believe Scott deserves re-election. And former Gov. Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican but is now a Democrat, would topple Scott in a hypothetical gubernatorial matchup, 50%-34%, according to the poll.

Asked about the potential competition from Crist on Wednesday, Scott again pivoted to jobs.

"The election is not today, it's November 2014," he said. "And the real poll that matters is the third Friday of every month, it's what unemployment is."


Filed under: Florida • Jobs • Rick Perry • Rick Scott
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Where is the sense of Nationalism for this guys?"

    Nationalism: blame Obama for bad economy.

    Statism: take credit as governor when economy turns around, even though it did so nationally.

    March 27, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    @James Bond.
    Regarding Snyder.....did you ever run across a recall petition when they were supposedly circulating??

    I share your sentiment about him.

    March 27, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Fed Up With Republicans

    Obama and the Democrats are doing a very good job of bringing this nation back from the brinks of the disaster the Republicans had made of our economy.

    March 27, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. simp

    Scott can forget it!!! I voted for Charlie Crist when he was a republician and now that he is a democrat, he has my vote. Scott thinks that we floridians have forgot what he did since being governor? Not bloody likely, hit the road jack, you are done!!!

    March 27, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Perry and Scott 2016

    One Corporation under God .

    March 27, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Joi Gibson

    Low paying jobs with no insurance. And our legislature is in the process of trying to gut the Florida Retirement System-which is one of the best in the country-take away line-of-duty death benefits, and those new voting restrictions were absolutely outrageous. Lurch sits there with that Michelle Bachman look on his face and lets the legislature run amok and then says he had nothing to do with it. The man does not listen to us Floridians. I cannot wait for 2014 to get rid of him. BTW folks, don't be so hard on our state, the majority of us are hard-working, friendly folks. Really, we are.

    March 27, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    If Scott wants bragging rights over Rick Perry, then I'm leaving. Perry's run for President was a joke. The state paid for his 6 months of security details (state law requires the Dept/Public Safety to protect the gubner) while campaigning.. Texans are not going to see a dime of that recovered (it's legal too). Perry's claim that 1,000,000 jobs have been created under his watch is also a joke.. 500,000 of those are GOVERNMENT jobs.. YES! that's right, the Party of smaller Govt. actually EXPANDED it in TX under Perry. The rest of those jobs were McD's, etc. Can't live off those wages. There were around 100k jobs created and many of those were Barnett Shale related. There ARE 300,000+ "vocational" jobs in TX, but most are closed-entry jobs (hence vocational) like plumbing, A/C, etc where there are NO qualified candidates.
    Let's not forget the $2.5B CUTS in education, refusal to accept Obamacare funding, the removal of Fed funding of Planned Parenthood, and...
    Dang.. why would Florida want to out-do that ?????????

    March 27, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    He didnt do it for sure. Just think what the state would have for the hospitality industry and then some had he gone with high speed rail.

    March 27, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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