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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The return of Rick: Jet-lagged governor touts Heat's NBA title



A jet-lagged Gov. Rick Scott arrived back in Florida Friday after a week-long trade mission in France, drumming up business at the Paris Air Show. With his wife Ann at his side, Scott met briefly with reporters at Tallahassee Regional Airport.

For Scott, the Miami Heat's NBA champinship victory in Game 7 of the finals Thursday was sweeter because it came at the expense of a team in Texas, the home of Scott's alter ego, Gov. Rick Perry.

"It's great that they beat the Spurs and it's especially even nicer that they beat a Texas team," Scott said. "I haven't talked to Gov. Perry yet but I'm going to make sure he knows how that score came out."

Scott touted the planned move by a French firm, Vision Systems, to establish a U.S. base in Melbourne with about 40 jobs, as well as a Virginia aerospace firm, firm, ATR North America, that plans to add 40 jobs in Miami Springs. He cited the latest decline in the state's unemployment rate, to 7.1 percent.

He sidestepped several questions about his search for a lieutenant governor, the latest Quinnipiac poll numbers that show slight improvement in his popularity, and about whether he'll sign a bill that bans people with mental health issues from getting guns. "We're still reviewing it," Scott said of the bill (HB 1355).

Scott's next trade mission is planned for November in Japan. When a reporter tried to get Scott to say a few words in French, he demurred. "Ann's way better at that than me," he said.


[Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 4:32pm]


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