Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells Newsmax.TV that the victory of his Wisconsin counterpart, Scott Walker, in a recall election validates his own policies in the Sunshine State, and says that it may even be a bellwether for the November election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
“Absolutely” it’s a validation, declared Scott in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “What we know now is that if you run on a campaign of fiscal responsibility, making your state a business-friendly state, reducing taxes, reducing regulations, putting people in place that are going to be pro-business — because that’s where jobs get created, by businesses, then the public’s going to support you.”
Walker, who, like Scott is a first-term Republican, became only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote — and the first to emerge victorious as voters delivered a 7-point win over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. The effort to remove Walker from office began last year after the state divided over the governor's push to effectively end collective bargaining for most public workers in an attempt to control the state budget.
See our exclusive interview. Story continues below.
Florida’s Gov. Scott has said that collective bargaining shouldn't be a constitutionally protected right in Florida either, telling Bloomberg TV that he'd like to see Florida's Constitution changed so that it no longer guarantees workers the right to collective bargaining.
“The public is speaking. They know that big government, more taxes, more regulation doesn’t work. . . Think about what the national election’s going to be about. It’s going to be about job creation. That’s exactly what my race was like in 2010. I had a plan for job creation. Gov. Romney, as long as he explains his plan to the public — reducing taxes, reducing regulation, having a pro-business attitude — then he’s going to win.”
Scott also insisted that Florida must continue to look for — and purge — non-citizen voters from Florida’s voting rolls despite objections from the Department of Justice.
“None of us believes that somebody that doesn’t have a right to vote should be voting in our elections. All of us believe that everyone that does have a right to vote should go out and register to vote and get involved in elections and vote,” Scott said. “I’m going to continue to make sure that the law of Florida is enforced and that’s the law that only individuals that have a right to vote . . . vote.”
While acknowledging the possibility that the Justice Department’s action is politically motivated, Scott said that he hopes that’s not the case.
“I always hope that people are doing things for the right reasons,” he said. “But I know what my job is. My job is to enforce the laws of Florida. I expect every other elected official to enforce the laws of the state. We have a great a state. We want people involved in our elections, but we only want people involved in our elections that have a right to vote.”
Turning to another issue, Scott said that he is “very hopeful” about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare resulting from a legal challenge that Florida has championed.
“I’m very hopeful that the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional or at a minimum, acknowledge that the federal government doesn’t have a right to tell us how we should spend our dollars,” Scott asserted. “Where would it stop? Do we have to buy the federal government’s cell phone, broccoli, whatever you want to talk about?”
In the worst case scenario, Scott said that Florida would enforce the law if the Supreme Court upholds it. “If it is not declared unconstitutional and if it’s not repealed, then we will have no choice but to enforce the law,” he said. “But I’m very optimistic that 1) it will be declared unconstitutional, and 2) if it’s not, that we will elect individuals this fall that will acknowledge we have to repeal it because it’s going to be the biggest job killer ever and that for patients it’s going to ration care.
"It’s bad for taxpayers who won’t be able to afford it, and it’s going to put Florida and American business at a significant disadvantage to businesses around the world.”
With Florida still suffering from higher unemployment than the national average, Scott added that he has been trying to make the state more welcoming to job creators.
“What I’m doing is making sure that this is the most business-friendly state in the country. And the way you do that is to think like a business,” he said. “Businesses’ customers want lower prices. So they do business with companies that do business in places with lower taxes, less regulation, shorter permitting processes, less litigation.”
Scott concedes that there’s more to be done.
“There’s clearly certain regulations we need, permitting processes we need, but we can’t have things that are simply impediments to business,” he said. “Our country was built on capitalism. I believe in it. I know it raises the standard of living for all Americans. I personally believe that all elected officials have a moral responsibility to make their area — whether it’s a city, county, state, or federal level — places where individuals have the ability to get a job.”
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