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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The laughable idea of Vice President Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott



Okay, I'll bite.  With all due respect to Chris Cillizza and Bill Cotterell, who have suggested recently that Florida Gov. Rick Scott could make a logical running mate selection for Donald Trump, that idea is utter nonsense.

There may be worse choices for Trump's vice presidential nominee, but I struggle to think of many. ... Okay, Bill Cosby.

Perhaps someone from Trump world is floating this notion with an eye toward playing Scott for an endorsement the way McCain played then-Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008, I don't know. But ask yourself what putting Rick Scott on the ticket gets Trump.

Help governing; getting his agenda through Washington? Nope. Scott has almost no experience with Washington, unless you count fending off a criminal investigation into his old company, Columbia/HCA , for Medicare fraud. Florida's governor has  not been adept at dealing with the Republican-controlled Florida legislature, so there's no reason to think he'd be especially helpful to Trump dealing with Congress.

Help carrying Florida? Hard to see it. Scott is one of the least popular governors in America, who has narrowly won two elections in large part to dramatically outspending his Democratic opponents and riding big Republican electoral waves in off-year elections with low Democratic turnout. A presidential election is an entirely different ballgame, and putting Scott one heartbeat away from the presidency would give ambivalent voters a reason to vote against Trump the same way Sarah Palin did in 2008. Scott would likely hurt Trump in Florida, not help him.

A strong surrogate/attack dog for Trump? I refer you to the photo above, Not trying to be mean here, but that's Gov. Scott - a nice fellow in person, but one of the most awkward politicians who ever set foot on Florida's political scene, He is also FAR more robotic in bizarrely repeating talking points over and over than Marco Rubio is on his worst imaginable day.

And if Trump opponents think Trump University is a strong line of attack not yet full exploited, wait until they dig into Scott's business background. He overcame that baggage about the largest Medicare fraud settlement payment in the history of America wil tens of millions of dollars in TV ads, but TV ads are much less effective in a presidential race than a statewide Florida race.

Yes, Scott would likely put an exclamation point on Trump's outsider status, but that's not what Trump would need as the nominee. Trump needs someone to reassure the millions of voters uncomfortable with his temperament and ability to get anything done. That is not Rick Scott.

John Kasich comes to mind. 

[Last modified: Monday, February 29, 2016 4:09pm]


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