Florida Gov. Rick Scott faces a political dilemma when it comes to deciding which candidate to endorse as the nominee in the Republican presidential race.
His predicament centers on the fact that even though four GOP candidates live in the Sunshine State, he’s just as likely to back two personal friends who live in other states, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, according to Politico
Scott put himself in the spotlight recently when he announced that he would probably be endorsing someone in the 2016 run for the White House, as opposed to 2012 when he declined to back a candidate.
The four potential GOP candidates from Florida are former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Coral Gables resident, Sen. Marco Rubio of West Miami, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee of Walton County, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson of West Palm Beach.
But Perry and Christie ingratiated themselves with Scott by both attending the governor’s second-term inauguration in January, possibly in a calculated move. They were given front-row seats while neither Rubio nor Bush bothered to show up.
According to Politico, Scott is indebted to Christie, the former Republican Governors Association chairman, who helped to raise about $18.5 million for the governor’s re-election campaign in 2014, helping him to fend off a very close challenge from Democrat Charlie Crist.
Scott, however, has even closer personal ties with Perry, with whom he has even gone fishing. Their friendship has been called a "bromance" by media pundits and people in the state capital, Politico reported.
Currently, Scott is keeping his cards close to his chest, as was illustrated when he was questioned by the political news website about whom he would endorse in the state’s primary and the possible reason for his support.
"We’ll see what I’m going to do," Scott said. "But I’ll tell you what I want: I want somebody who’s going to focus on the economy. They have to limit the growth of the federal government.
"They’ve got to cut taxes and regulation — basically, what we've done. And we need somebody who’s going to fight ISIS. And then we still have to deal with healthcare."
According to Politico’s Marc Caputo, there is little advantage for either Bush or Rubio in receiving an endorsement from Scott, because the governor has struggled in the state’s approval polls.
"Not only do they not really want Scott’s endorsement, they don’t need it," said Chris Ingram, a GOP consultant and political commentator from Tampa. "It might have some effect if Scott endorses someone other than Bush or Rubio. But it would be seen as completely disloyal."
In fact, if Scott does not back a Florida candidate during the primary, the governor will likely face a backlash from state party officials as well as the ignominy of possibly supporting a loser, considering the fact that Perry and Christie are way down the pack in presidential polls.
However, whichever candidate Scott ends up supporting, he’ll also be promoting his own credentials as an important part of the Republican political machine nationally, said Caputo, who’s also a political writer for The Miami Herald.
"By announcing he’ll likely endorse in the primary, Scott began to reinsert himself in the political dialogue of the nation’s most important swing state just as it’s receiving a disproportionate amount of attention due to the depth of the GOP’s bench of potential candidates," Caputo wrote.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.