More than a year before the next presidential election, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making a prediction.
"Whoever has the plan for jobs is going to win," he said. "President Obama, just because of whats happened with jobs, hes going to have a tougher time. But if the Republican candidate doesnt have a plan for jobs, hes not going to win."
Scott, the Republican governor of the countrys largest swing state, said that he has been courted by several GOP primary candidates. He talks often with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to announce his intention to run this weekend. And hes met former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who was in Miami Wednesday, calling him an interesting candidate.
For now, however, Scott isnt endorsing any candidate.
I remember what its like when everybody endorses the other person in a primary, Scott told the Miami Heralds editorial board in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, referring to the support of the Republican establishment and of newspapers of his opponent last year, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.
It was Scotts second editorial board appearance in as many days as part of the governors effort to improve his public image after negative approval ratings. Throughout the 2010 campaign against Democrat Alex Sink, Scott turned down almost every editorial boards invitation. He met with the board of the Tallahassee Democrat on Tuesday.
A relaxed Scott, wearing a long-sleeved royal blue shirt and no tie, spoke to about 20 Herald editors and reporters for an hour Wednesday afternoon. Then he worked his way through the newsroom, shaking hands, introducing himself as Rick and asking breaking-news producers about social media. Scott showed them the governors Facebook page.
Earlier in the day, Scott met with six state lawmakers who represent Broward four Democrats and two Republicans at The Floridian, a Fort Lauderdale greasy spoon better known for serving eggs and pancakes around the clock than for public policy discussions. It was a stark difference from several months ago, when Scott sat with lawmakers at a posh hotel near the ocean.
Though the largely Democratic delegation had little success in the past legislative session, lawmakers for the most part went easy on the governor, bringing up their desire to adequately fund schools, protect beaches and improve job growth. Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat, encouraged Scott to listen to different points of view, telling him there is a sizable group of people that dont agree with what you have done.
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