August 25th, 2010
05:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Kinder, gentler RGA statement on Scott

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="The RGA has released a new statement on Rick Scott's primary victory."]Washington (CNN) - What a difference a few hours make. Late Tuesday night, after businessman's Rick Scott's victory over Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Sunshine state's Republican gubernatorial primary, a statement by the Republican Governors Association barely mentioned Scott.

"Intraparty struggles are often difficult to watch, and the contest in Florida has been a good example of that. That said, the primary is over, Rick Scott is the nominee, the general election has begun, and our party now looks forward," said RGA spokesman Tim Murtaugh in a statement.

McCollum, a former Republican congressman, was considered the insider or establishment candidate, and was favored by many in the national party hierarchy.

The comments on Scott stood in contrast to Murtaugh's statement praising Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who won her state's GOP gubernatorial nomination Tuesday night.

Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi Governor and RGA Chairman Haley Barbour put out a statement with kinder words regarding Scott.

"I called Rick Scott this morning and committed the full resources of the RGA to his election as governor of Florida. I encourage every Republican in Florida to unite behind the Scott campaign and put on their chin straps because the real battle has just begun. It is going to take all of us pulling together to win," said Barbour.

Barbour added that "Rick Scott's profile as an outsider with years spent in the private sector creating jobs is the type of experience Florida voters are looking for."

"Scott may not have been the establishment's first choice, but his profile as an outsider and his focus on wasteful spending and a growing government aligns him with the sentiments of an energized Republican base as well as independent swing voters," says Republican strategist Kevin Madden. "The general election started this morning and those dynamics are what matter right now."

Scott jumped into the race in April, spending $38 million dollars on his primary bid. Asked by CNN's John King in an interview that will run Wednesday night on CNN's John King USA if he has any limit to his personal money he will spend to win in November, Scott said "no."

Scott's ability to self finance his general election run against Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee, and independent candidate Bud Chiles, could benefit the party.

"Scott is positioned with campaign resources of his own, which gives the RGA greater flexibility to spread its resources around and seize additional opportunities, thereby helping in races up and down the ballot across the country," Madden said.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Florida • RGA • Rick Scott
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Here's how it works:

    1. Ducks are good and Geese are bad and this is actually something simple that everyone agrees on....sort of like if you asked someone, "is it good to help the sick and poor?" or "is it bad to let the government decide whether people live or die?"

    2. Dems propose some legislation...let's call it "Duck."

    3. GOPers flood the national discourse with demogoguery and misinformation, screaming "That's a Goose!"

    4. Unable to defend themselves for various reasons...upbringing, our failing education system, fear, resentment, tribal loyalty, etc.,...many people believe the GOP that Duck is actually a Goose.

    5. Believing Duck to be a Goose, those people get angry and go bonkers, opposing the Duck they think is a Goose, screaming "we don't want Goose!! Goose is bad!!!"

    6. Country fails.

    August 25, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Even rethuglians know that voting for Rick Scott is suicide. By his victory (of a known criminal), I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that either too many Floridians (Americans) are dumb as hell or brain dead or both. You can discern a lot about a people by whom they elect. Sadly, America's end is near. We're killing ourselves by electing people that don't give a damn about us – only money. Our enemies don't need to spend a penny or a drop of blood to defeat us. We'll defeat ourselves. I am thoroughly sickened by what has happend to our country. We, as a people, stand for nothing.

    August 25, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Lori in St Pete

    They must have gotten their marching orders from boss limbaugh.

    August 25, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    When the likes of Rick Scott start being nominated/elected to state and national offices, it is a sure sign that our END AS A CIVILIZED NATION IS AT HAND. All of you can blow my comments off if you like, but you'll see that in the not too distant future, America will die by its own hand. There will be consequences for continuing to elect criminals, racists, immoral people to public office. You'll see.

    August 25, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Augsbee

    Rick Scott =Jobs- successful businessman in the Healthcare industry.
    Alex Sink = Unemployment-eliminated 1000's of jobs in Florida when she was President of Bank of America, in charge of all of Florida.

    August 25, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Bruce

    Using personal funds during a campaign is out of control. The guys/gals who spend tens of millions of dollars of their own money have something up their sleeves. They didn't get rich by being meek and lowly. You have to ask...what is the return on their investment. Well, it ain't because they want to be public servants or they would have made that choice before they got filthy rich. It's because they can make more money....and not in the public service position. NO, NO, NO...once they get elected, their return on investment comes by way of lobbists, special interest groups, big coorporations, big oil, etc. WAKE UP AND TAKE A WIFF OF THE TRUTH LITTLE MAN/WOMAN.. Don't vote for these elites no matter what party...only they will benefit.

    August 25, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Gpenn

    Rick Scott ripped off grandma and the rest of the country. When he stole billions from Medicare. He refuses to discuss it and the media let's him off the hook. The guy is a crook. Is this what the GOP means when they say clean up government?

    August 25, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. spanky

    Not self-Financed. Financed with appropriated taxpayers' money.

    August 25, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. floridian

    It was obvious who McCollum was in the race for - himself. Words alluded to him about not campaigning for Scott if he won speak wonders for career politicians who have been on the dole for years. That is why we need Rubio and not another career politician named Crist representing us in the Senate. I wonder what Sen. Murkowski in Alaska will do if Miller wins - pull another Crist? pull another Specter? We need to get rid of all those in Congress who are only in it for themselves - in both parties.

    August 25, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. andrey

    Scott spent $38 millions in 4 months, that tells me he can relate to regular people and their problems… the real people person…I mean the real “golf club people” person.

    August 25, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. works for me

    It just goes to show... he didn't just buy this primary... it took a life of lies, greed and collusion to really nail it down. Way to go Florida. If this is what you want to "lead" your state... a crook, then this is what you MAY get.

    It's kind of letting the fox into the hen house, don't you think. Oh that's right... not much more actual thinking going on down there, now is there?
    Research the hell out of this guy before you give him a chance to really show what thievery is about.!!

    August 25, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Peter s

    As someone running for a public office we need to see the medicare documents! to clear his name!

    August 25, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. RLS-Cleveland, OH

    Floridians can't be this stupid as a whole. Really. Good grief- the man never got punished for the Medicare Fraud business, but a crook is a crook no matter how he bought himself out of that mess.
    He shouldn't even be allowed to run for any type of public office.
    Is this really what Florida wants for Gov??? Wow- while he was ruining the health care business and showing all of us how little he cares for sick people- I can't imagine what he would do the taxpayers of Florida that he would be representing.
    Yeeeesh, the Repugs are really tanking with these types of options.

    August 25, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Sgt. USMC

    anything barbour, stinks. you wanted mccollum, you didn't get him, i guess it's time to go running with your tail between your legs. anything to get more repukelicans in office. no honor.

    August 25, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |