March 27th, 2013
08:56 AM ET
7 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. v_mag

    It's hilarious that Scott wants to out-brag Texas, the state with the most uninsured people, a huge disparity between rich and poor, a bad educational system, and some of the most low-brow corrupt politicians in the country. Sure, you can come down here and find a Mac-job, if that's all you aspire to. You can fry in the summer and look in vain for water, too.

    General Sheridan said in 1865, "If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell". Things haven't changed all that much.

    March 27, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    How's your Lieutenant Governor doing-oh, that's right, she resigned in yet anothe scandal for the GOP in FL. Scott's next.

    March 27, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Nice weather? Try spending the summer there, and cook in your own juices. Then there is the annual game of chicken, known as hurricane season. Throw in a sub-par eduacational system and a huge disparity between rich and poor, yep, sounds wonderful. The only thing that's missing is an attempt to surpass Mississippi in the number of cases of Rickets.

    March 27, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. MaryM

    Rick Scott wont be around to much longer. Charlie Crist will once again be Gov of Florida. Rick Scott blew it when he tried to change the voting rules in Florida this last election

    March 27, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. James Bond

    Republicans answer to high unemployment is take every 20$ an hour job, and make two 10$ an hour jobs. good for greedy business', bad for everyone else, its like trying to compete with mexico, why would you want too?

    March 27, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. James Bond

    How about all those jobs in indiana, florida, arizona, if ten bucks an hour is all you aspire too, come on down, they want everyone to work for minimum wage, thats real progress

    March 27, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. James Bond

    All the minimum wage jobs you want, welcome to right to work, nice huh?

    March 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    on a positive note, Texas has Austin,.....and......and....and....nevermind

    March 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Boo

    More like both governors should be vying for the "Stupidest State in the Union" award....

    March 27, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Dan in Chitown

    I find it funny that on one hand these Republican governors all tout that they are creating jobs and that states are the engines for growth. And then they turn around and bask the president and say he hasn't created jobs. Isn't it one or the other?? Either states are the engines for job growth, so thus the president doesn't have much to do about creating jobs, thus you can't complain about him. Orrrrr, the president is able to help create jobs, and thus he has helped lower the unemployment rates in these states and deserves credit.

    The hypocrisy never ends, does it?

    March 27, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    The focus of FL, has always been, tourism. It has never been, a good state for business development, manufacturing, etc. I do NOT expect that to change. People go there for the beach, or Disney, or a combination thereof. The weather in the summer is oppressive, the bugs are really bad, the hurricanes are really bad, etc.

    It takes people who can handle the downside of living in FL, to live there year round. All of the seniors who like it in winter, hate it in summer, and those who can afford to do so, leave in the summer.

    March 27, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Is this direction that the nation needs to go? Do we really want states vigorously competing against one another for the dwindling supply of jobs in this country? Wouldn't it be better if they were able to compete with foreign nations for the jobs?

    March 27, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Wake up People!

    He forgot to add, if you're brown and feeling down and might be feeling suicidal, never fear, just walk through a predominantly white neighborhood wearing a hooded sweatshirt and some wanna be John Wayne will come and take that worry away from you.

    Florida. Where you can assassinate an innocent child and then claim self defense and everyone will be on your side!! Oh what a great state!!

    March 27, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. v_mag

    Some folks might say that comparing Texas to Florida is like comparing prickly pear to oranges....

    March 27, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. nothing new here

    Oh good grief, and this is what Mr. Scott chooses to polute the airways with?
    This guy has become so unpopular, even Former Governor Crist has a chance to be re-elected. The same people now have buyers remorse, and for good reason. Scott has spent millions promoting his own idea of "limited government" it is unreal.

    March 27, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    The two governors are nothing to brag about. the fine citizens of Texas and Florida should rid themselves of the embarassments and vote them out of office.

    March 27, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. v_mag

    Rudy brings up a good point about interstate competition. That's a big problem with the whole Republican philosophy of "free markets", "rugged individualism", and competition. It turns into more "dog eat dog" than anything else, and inevitably, the guys on the top grab it all, as they now have. It's nice to be the winner in such an environment, but it's horrible to lose, and there are more and more people losing in this country.

    The liberal philosophy is "we're all in this together, and we have to take care of one another". From my point of view, the main reason we need a government at all is to protect the weak and do for us all what we can't do individually. That's why I get nervous when some slash-and-burn right winger gets into office, touting business above all else. They either don't understand community, or they don't care about it, and that is antithetical to the spirit of America.

    March 27, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel

    The focus of FL, has always been, tourism. It has never been, a good state for business development, manufacturing, etc. I do NOT expect that to change.
    I suppose that you've never heard of NASA. How about Boca Raton, Florida? Boca Raton was the birth place and manufacturing site for the original IBM PCs in the early 1980s.

    March 27, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Warren

    Look at Scott taking credit for Job Growth in Florida???? The whole country has job growth. Did he do that too... He is a real joke who should have been put in jail years ago. Thanks Tea Party. How soon we forget....

    March 27, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. MrBeenThere

    Two half pints squaring off for what looks like a GOP Hot Dog eating contest.................... I wonder who'll end up being more full of it..............

    March 27, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Mark

    I bet u never heard about a town called Lake Mary a small Sillicon Valley.

    If u think Florida is just bugs and bad weather u r deeead wrong.

    March 27, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. James Bond

    Get rid of them both, and take rick snyder with them, horrible governor, they think that if they can get good numbers job wise, and budgets, just dont ask how, that they sre viewed as doing a good job, get real, citizens hate them for good reason

    March 27, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Yanni

    Where is the sense of Nationalism for this guys?

    March 27, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. lottie

    another pressing issue taken up by the ever competent GOP.

    March 27, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Sure. Just depress wages, create a slew of part-time jobs with no benefits, or, better still, take stim money and use it balance your budget retroactively. Thats the way the Right wants to create a bigger middle class: too bad its modeled on some banana republic.

    March 27, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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