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Will Rick Scott campaign with President Trump in Tampa?

The answer is clear if you've been paying attention.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Florida Gov. Rick Scott after signing S. 544 the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2017. (Molly Riley / Pool via CNP)
Published Jul. 24, 2018
Updated Jul. 24, 2018

UPDATE 2:50 p.m. Scott will attend the White House event at Tampa Bay Technical High School but not the rally. He has a fundraiser that evening, a spokeswoman tells the Tampa Bay Times.

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott isn't rushing to join President Trump at next week's rally in Tampa, maintaining the distance he's sought since ramping up the U.S. Senate bid.

Asked Monday evening and this morning if he'll attend, Scott's campaign has been noncommittal.

"The governor's schedule for that day has not yet been finalized. We will keep you updated," a spokeswoman said.

Trump is also scheduled to do an official White House event at Tampa Bay Technical High School.

The rally announcement Monday made specific mention of Scott along with Trump's two most vocal supporters in Florida.

"The president is expected to address the latest record-breaking jobs and economic data from the booming Trump economy, his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and the importance for Floridians to get out and vote this fall for key races to support his agenda; including to support Rick Scott who is running to defeat Ben Nelson in the U.S. Senate, Matt Gaetz for re-election to the U.S. House, and Ron DeSantis for governor," read the statement, mistaking former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson for Florida's Bill Nelson.

DeSantis and Gaetz, both endorsed by Trump, are certain to attend.

Scott, stressing he was a businessman turn outsider politician, backed Trump for president the day after he rolled over Marco Rubio in the Florida primary, threw a big party for him after the inauguration and made frequent trips to Washington to appear with Trump at White House events.

File photo of Gov. Rick Scott and then-candidate Donald Trump. [Twitter]
File photo of Gov. Rick Scott and then-candidate Donald Trump. [Twitter]
But he has diminished those ties as a Senate candidate running a general election strategy that will need to appeal to independent voters in addition to the GOP base.

Read more: Once eager to tout Trump friendship, Rick Scott now plays it down