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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott on attending Koch retreat, Romneycare and approval ratings

28

June

Gov. Rick Scott told the Buzz this morning that he attended the Koch brothers retreat near Vail, Colo., saying he was asked to speak about his initiatives and covered education, taxes, Medicaid reform, drug testing welfare recipients, public employee pension changes and jobs.

"It was very interesting," Scott said. "They wanted basically to know what am I doing in Florida.

There have been questions whether Scott attended the private weekend gathering of conservative-minded leaders but the governor's office has refused to say. "I told anybody who asked me," said Scott, who hosted a breakfast gathering at a bio tech conference in Washington, D.C.

He said he found the sessions useful. "In this job, you've got to constantly listen to what other people are thinking. Part of what you do in business is you say, 'Gosh, they are doing something, well, I'm going to see if I can do it better.' The same with this ... OK, what are people doing that is working in their states?"

At least two other Republican governors attended: Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Rick Perry of Texas.

A health care executive before entering politics, Scott was asked about Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts. "I wouldn't have done it," Scott said, explaining his objections to more government involvement in health care.

But he said "every state is a laboratory. If you like that -- I don't believe in it -- move to Massachusetts. Then you have that plan. If you don't like it, you can pick another state."

Gov. Scott's low approval rating continues to gain attention outside Florida. This morning the New York Times featured him. But Scott presented a stoic face. "This isn't a popularity contest," he said. "This is a contest to make our state the No. 1 place to do business, and that's what I'm going to do."

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 2:24pm]

    

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