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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

VIDEO: Rick Scott tells tea party to keep up pressure; don't let lobbyists control the process



Republican Gov. Rick Scott just spent a few minutes at the tea party rally happening today outside the historic state Capitol. Scott did not acknowledge the liberals across the street protesting his budget cuts and, on his way back to his office, skirted the environmentalists gathering to support the Florida Forever land-purchasing program.

"That was fun," Scott said of his speech. "It was like being back on the campaign."

At the tea party rally, Scott urged the conservative activists to return to the Capitol every day during the 60-day lawmaking session to support his budget.

"If we pass our jobs budget, jobs are going to come back, more money will be in your pocket," Scott said. "You can start your companies."

Scott told the tea party to "finish strong" during the next two months.

"It's easy to get distracted up here," he said. "It's easy to worry about what a special interest wants. It's easy to let lobbyists control it. It's easier because they're here every day."

Scott vowed to "follow the Constitution" and insisted he wants to be held accountable. But in the media gaggle during the walk after the speech, Scott acknowledged there was no way to prove he and Senate President Mike Haridopolos followed the Constitution during their private meeting Sunday.

"I'm very comfortable that we're doing the right thing," Scott said.


[Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 3:05pm]


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