PolitiFact Florida finds flaws in Rick Scott claims on education, socialism

Is Florida no. 1 in education? Is Bill Nelson a socialist?
Published Sept. 27, 2018

PolitiFact Florida has ruled on a pair of claims from Gov. Rick Scott, and found issues in both of them.

The first assertion the fact-checking outlet looked at comes from a new ad for the Republican's Senate campaign that he likes it when "Florida is first."

"Fourth grade reading and math scores, first in the nation," Scott says in the ad. "Eighth grade reading, first. High school AP classes and college education, both ranked first in the nation. And now, our highest education funding ever. I like it when Florida is first."

The only problem is that Florida isn't first in most categories Scott talks about in the ad. The idea Florida has the "highest education funding ever" is also misleading.

What was the rating? Read the full fact-check here.

PolitiFact Florida also reviewed Scott's assertion that his November opponent is Sen. Bill Nelson a socialist.

It's a claim that goes even further than one from Republican governor candidate Ron Desantis about his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum. DeSantis said Gillum advocated "far left socialist platform." PolitiFact ruled that False.

Scott's labeling of Nelson as a socialist is a misleading red-scare tactic — one from the  Republican playbook this cycle after the surprise Democratic primary win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist, in New York.

Calling a politician in Florida a socialist packs particular punch because some Hispanic voters, a battleground demographic, have fled socialist regimes.

But the claim is Pants on Fire false, PolitiFact ruled. Read why.