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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RNC: 'Rick Scott's not on the ballot; Obama is'



RNC Chairman Reince Priebus this morning dismissed the notion that Gov. Rick Scott's low approval ratings could hurt the GOP's chances in the upcoming election.

"It matters as to who's on the ballot," Priebus said during a "one year until election day" conference call with reporters. "That makes a big difference. Right now, people are going to be focused on whether or not they want to hire, re-hire Barack Obama."

Scott's 2010 victory was part of an impressive sweep by Republicans, who now control nine governors' mansions in battleground states that Obama won in 2008. The RNC today touted those wins -- singling out Florida and Virginia -- and said it will use the "infrastructure" in the coming election.

But the new Republicans have faced their own troubles amid battles over labor unions, teacher pay, drug testing for welfare recipients and sweeping changes to election laws, not to mention the struggling economy. Opponents have used the controversies to re-energize unions, and Democrats are eager to highlight the differences in 2012.

Priebus expressed confidence the situation is changing and noted that Scott's approval rating has improved. "But long story short," he added, "Rick Scott's not on the ballot; Obama is."

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 12:42pm]


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