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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott says decisions on Confederate monuments should be left to the democratic 'process'

Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.

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Gov. Rick Scott this morning avoided directly answering whether Confederate monuments should be taken down, saying the decision should be part of a democratic "process."

"Let everybody's views be heard. We are all part of representitive government, you have the opportunity as a citizen to go let your representative know what you believe," Scott told the Tampa Bay Times after an event in Tampa.

"We have a democracy," Scott said. "We have the ability to have conversations about things, whether it's policy or things like monuments, and that's what's going on around our country right now. Some of these decisions will need to be made locally, some will be decided at the state level, some will be decided at the federal level, but what everybody needs to do is go through the process that's set up to make policy changes and make changes if they do with regards to a monument."

Across the country this week, the debate has stirred passions on both sides. Scott had lunch with President Donald Trump on Thursday but Scott's office says the issue, or the violence in Charlottesville, never came up.

But Trump has made his views clear.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," he wrote on Twitter Thursday. "You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"

[Last modified: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:21am]

    

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