Recently, the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza ranked Florida’s Republican Rick Scott as the most vulnerable incumbent governor of the upcoming 2012/2013 election cycle. But you’d never know that from watching him on Your World two days ago where Neil Cavuto presented him as a job-making machine. It started with a Fox News Alert announcing that President Obama would be going to Florida to talk jobs. Next, we saw a graphic saying the jobless rate in Florida had fallen from 10.9% to 7.8% since Scott became Governor. Cavuto said, “Job creation has indeed been happening in his state.”
Scott said, “Neil, we’re glad the President’s coming, but he’s a little late to come and visit one of our ports. As you know, the federal government’s not been funding their portion of our port structure… and so Florida taxpayers have been doing it.” He said the president will “hopefully brag about our significant turnaround here in the state where unemployment’s dropped faster than any state but one, and in a little over two years we’ve generated around 300,000 private sector jobs.”
Scott continued, “The four years before I became Governor, the state lost 832,000 jobs, unemployment tripled from 3.5 to 11.1%. Like the federal government, the state borrowed a lot of money, $5.2 million dollars, and housing collapsed. In two years, it’s a big change, a staggering contrast. …It’s a dramatic turnaround.”
Florida Democrats paint an entirely different picture but Cavuto either knew nothing about that or decided to keep it quiet.
Instead, Cavuto asked about Allen West’s criticisms of Scott for expanding Medicaid. Cavuto didn’t mention that Scott has ticked off the Tea Party and may face a primary challenge as a result.
Scott replied, “I was the first one to run national ads to try to make sure we had the right health care program, a free-market program and I fought Obamacare. ...I can’t in good conscience say while the federal government pays 100% of it, deny Floridians access to health care.”
Cavuto gave Scott the out: “You don’t feel that you were kind of placed in a box… you were in a no-win situation?”
Scott changed the subject. “You know what Florida families care about? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Improving education for their kids. That’s why I’m so focused on making sure every Floridian has the opportunity for a job, and their families have the opportunity to make sure their children get a great education.”
He also said, “Home prices are up, home construction is up, new home construction is up, consumer confidence is up, so we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve had more tourists than ever, exports are up, we’re doing the right thing here.”
Again, Florida Democrats disagree. But Cavuto accepted every word from Scott as truth.
Well Kneel, such a drop in the jobless rate “smells” to me like Scott has been “cooking the books” — you know, similar to what you rightwingnuts claimed back in October, when the US unemployment rate fell from 8.1 to 7.8%: