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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott: Alex Sink skirting responsibility over phone flap



Republican Rick Scott's campaign is passing around an "iCheat" graphic that includes Alex Sink's picture on an iPhone screen. "You want to cheat at a debate? There's an app for that," one Scott aide said.

Scott's making political hay out of a staffer passing Sink a note on a cell phone last night during the debate. But in a state suffering from a litany of economic problems that Scott regularly cites in a stump speech, how big a deal is this?

"You know, I don't know how big it is to any individual," Scott said. "But she wants to attack me all the time, and then she doesn't follow the rules. And that's a pretty simple rule to follow. ... This is like everything she's done -- she never takes responsibility."

Scott said Sink should have taken responsibility by saying, "Look, I made a mistake. I was wrong. I shouldn't have done it."

We'll note here that those are words Scott has never uttered despite his insistence that he takes responsibility for the record $1.7 billion Medicare fraud fines paid by his former hospital company, Columbia/HCA.

Some other notes from the first day on the bus tour:


1.) Scott says he doesn't remember the deposition he gave denying that he knew what "Central Florida" was. "It's not my job to give a legal definition. I don't know what the legal definition of an area is." 

2.) Scott's stump speech includes an inspiring boot-strap narrative of a boy raised in public housing who went on to earn hundreds of millions living the American dream. So we asked whether he thought Florida was doing a good job at providing affordable housing. Here's his answer:

"The thing that we need to do is put ourselves in a position that we are such a great job creator that that's not an issue that we even have to think about," Scott said.

So until Florida reaches that goal, how much attention would Scott give affordable housing?

"What I want to do is I want to help build jobs," Scott said. "We still have to have safety nets for people that can't afford things. But there is not enough money if we make everybody depend on government."

3.) During a debate in Davie, Scott refused to say whether he thought homosexuality was immoral. Asked again Monday, he said he wouldn't judge people for being gay. 

Today, Scott rejected the suggestion that his support for the state ban on gay adoption is counter to his statement that he won't judge someone by their sexual orientation.

"I'm just thinking about the kids," Scott said. "I'm thinking about what's best for the kids."

4.) About 200 people showed up to Brew City pub in New Port Richey for an 8:30 a.m. rally. About the same turned out for a speech at the Timber Pine retirement village in Spring Hill.

5.) A classic Scott moment in Spring Hill. Betty Deery, 69, introduced herself to Scott, who thought she said Deering. "Oh, I used to own a hospital named Deering," he told her. Deery gave him a confused look. "No relation," she said.



[Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:50pm]


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