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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott talks Perry, primary at RNC



Florida Gov. Rick Scott talks a lot about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but he's coy about whether he would endorse a Perry presidential candidacy.

"I like primaries," Scott said Friday when asked.

“I think the more people we get in the better,” said Scott, who recorded a video for a prayer service Perry is hosting in Houston on Saturday. “I think we ought to have real primaries. I think the key’s going to be whoever has the right blueprint for job creation. I think about my race: I won because people believed I was going to do a better job than my opponent of getting jobs going. I think that’s what the key’s going to be next year.”

Scott said people have asked him for endorsements. Asked whether that includes Mitt Romney, he said, “just say people have asked me for my endorsement.”

After speaking to the summer meeting of the Republican National Committee, which will return to Tampa Aug. 27-30, 2012, for the GOP National Convention, Scott said he wants more than anything to make sure that Florida’s primary takes place when it can have the most impact.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus said any state that holds its primary ahead of the party's established schedule stands to lose half its delegates, as Florida did four years ago. RNC rules allow only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold nominating contests before March 6. But with Colorado, Arizona, Missouri and Michigan jostling for position, it looks increasingly possible that Florida's primary could end up in January, February or early March.

“The most important thing is ... we’ve got to win the state to win the presidency,” Scott said. “We need to have a date that makes sense. I’d like not to lose the delegates. But it’s more important to me that we have a day that highlights our importance because I think it’s good for the Republican nominee.”

-- Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 6:16pm]


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