Scott brushes off Jeb comment; Sets sights on Panama - scribbles
Some quick scribbles after Gov. Rick Scott's visit to the Agency for Workforce Innovation...
1.) Former Gov. Jeb Bush said he was "surprised" by the timing of Gov. Rick Scott's decision to pull the plug on high-speed rail. Scott ignored a request from rail supporters to at least request bids from private companies interested in building the project. Here is Scott's reaction to Bush:
"As you know, I'm very focused on not wasting taxpayers' money," Scott said. "So I'm very concerned about cost overruns of the program, operating costs of the program and the risk that it was every shut down that we would have to give $2.4 billion back to the federal government.
"What I'm focused on is let's make sure we focus on the infrastructure that has the biggest impact on job creation: It's our ports, it's our highway, it's our logistics. And that's what I'm focused on."
2.) Scott said he will visit Panama and is also eyeing Colombia and Canada for future trade mission. Scott has said he wants to visit at least one foreign country before June.
3.) Scott doesn't seem worried in the slighest about his relationship with a Legislature that he'll need to approve his agenda, saying he's been meeting with lawmakers "since Nov. 2."
"Everybody knows we have the same goal. We have to get the state back to work," Scott said. "I'm very comfortable. I have a very good working relationship with the House and Senate, because we all have the same agenda: Let's get the state back to work."
4.) Scott opened a question-and-answer session for AWI workers (who stood in a muggy basement for their entire lunch hour awaiting the governor) by recalling a question he received Monday from a Corrections worker.
"Somebody asked me yesterday, they asked me why I didn't tax the rich more," Scott said. "I said I'd like everybody to move to Florida so they can help create jobs, basically."
Basically, that's not what he said.
5.) Freudian slip? The first question Scott received from an AWI employee started like this, "Gov. Crist..."