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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The woman from that Gainesville Starbucks explains what went on before she started shouting at Gov. Rick Scott

An image taken from video showing a confrontation between a former politician and Gov. Rick Scott in a Gainesville Starbucks.

[Stephen Bender, via]

An image taken from video showing a confrontation between a former politician and Gov. Rick Scott in a Gainesville Starbucks.



Before a camera started filming that now-viral video of Gov. Rick Scott getting the what-for from a woman at a Gainesville Starbucks, the woman doing the yelling, Cara Jennings, said the interaction was fairly civil.

In an interview with MSNBC, Jennings, a former Lake Worth City Commissioner, said she had spent the days before the confrontation stewing about a bill the governor signed into law on March 25 that could restrict women's access to reproductive healthcare clinics.

So when she was sitting in that Starbucks and saw the governor stroll in with a sizeable entourage, she told MSNBC she thought to herself: "Oh great, this is an opportunity to talk to the governor about the bill he signed."

Columnist John Romano: Rick Scott gets frustration and anger to go at Starbucks

Jennings said she asked the governor why he signed the bill, which she called "damaging to women's healthcare choices." He turned to her, Jennings said, and gave her a "very politician, very typical politician reaction."

The governor told her he doesn't vote on the bills, Jennings said, a statement she understands is true but considers misleading, since he has the power to veto and instead chose to sign it into law.

“Then I proceeded to explain to him that that decision is damaging to low-income women such as myself that rely on public healthcare options,” Jennings told MSNBC. “And he very inappropriately responded by telling me where I should go to receive my healthcare, as if I shouldn’t make that decision myself.”

Right after that is when the camera started rolling. It escalated quickly. 

Jennings called the governor an "a------" and an "embarassment" to the state -- quickly earning internet fame. 

PolitiFact checked Jennings claims, as well as Scott's oddly unrelated response: "We've got a million jobs." 

Later in the day, Scott said Jennings was unwilling to have a civil conversation.

Watch Jennings talk about the interaction here:

Cara Jennings explains why she decided to forcefully call out Florida Gov. Rick Scott at a Starbucks.Watch more:

Posted by MSNBC on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

[Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2016 2:34pm]


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