The winner of the GOP straw poll in Florida this week will become president, says Rick Scott, governor of the Sunshine State.
“I personally believe whoever wins that straw poll, they will be the next president of the United States,” Scott told Fox News.
The Republican presidential contenders head to Florida this week for events including a state-sponsored debate with Fox News on Thursday and the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday. Polling begins Saturday.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the only Republican candidate campaigning for the straw poll. That doesn’t matter to Scott, who said the names of the rest of the field will appear on the ballot.
“Saying you’re not participating is not the same thing,” Scott told Fox News. “Everyone knows what your positions are. They’re going to watch what you say in the debate. They’re going to watch CPAC. What’s the difference?”
The rest of the field includes Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of Georgia, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, among others.
Florida historically has been an important state to clinch for the GOP candidate. Scott did not say whom he might endorse.
“I really believe the Republican will win,” Scott said. “But it will be the Republican with the best jobs plan.”
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