Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) campaigned on a promise to create jobs in Florida — his campaign mantras were even “Let’s get to work!” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.” However, recently he’s backed off his earlier pledge to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs Florida is expected to generate as part of the state’s natural growth, absurdly claiming “I don’t know who said that.”
Now the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Scott is scaling back his promises even further, claiming, “I could argue that I don’t have to create any jobs”:
Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday added more nuance to his campaign promise to create jobs, questioning the validity of the state’s economic forecast and saying he just has to stop unemployment from rising.
“The bottom line is, I could argue that I don’t have to create any jobs,” Scott said on 540-AM in Maitland. “I just have to make sure we don’t lose jobs.“
Florida has a 10.7 percent unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. Yet Scott recently bragged about laying off 15,000 government workers, while deep education cuts will cost many teachers and school employees their jobs. Scott also rejected $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail project that supporters say would have created 24,000 jobs.
Putting ideology over the welfare of Floridians, Scott has also indicated that he will reject the billions in federal aid that could flow to the state under President Obama’s jobs act. The state is slated to receive more than $7.5 billion for schools, roads and other projects under the American Jobs Act. The White House estimates that the funds under the plan would support more than 60,000 jobs in Florida, including those held by teachers, cops, and firefighters.