Last week, gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (R-FL) tapped Jennifer Carroll (R-FL), an African American immigrant from Trinidad, to share the Republican ticket with him as lieutenant governor. “Working together, we will broaden the base of our party,” Scott said as he introduced Carroll. However, if Scott hopes to use Carroll to broaden a minority base that includes disgruntled Latino and immigrant voters who he has isolated via his hardline immigration stance, he may want to ask his running mate to brush up on her talking points. The Palm Beach Post published an awkward exchange between one of its reporters and Carroll:
CARROLL: I agree with Rick and his position on legal immigration. Illegal immigration I do not support because I feel that we should not be rewarding illegal activities.
PALM BEACH POST: But does that mean you support bringing an Arizona-style immigration enforcement law to Florida?
CARROLL: Well let me you ask you back, what is your impression about Arizona-style immigration laws?
PALM BEACH POST:What is my impression?
PALM BEACH POST:It’s a law that requires police when enforcing other laws to check immigration status if there is a suspicion. [...]
CARROLL: We haven’t gotten into the nitpicky as to how a bill is going to be crafted. There’s already a bill by Will Snyder that the House has already filed. What the containment of that bill is, how it is going to come out of the House or Senate, is another story
PALM BEACH POST:Do you support Representative Snyder’s bill?
CARROLL: I have not read the bill, so I cannot tell you.
During his primary against Bob McCollum (R-FL), Scott poured millions of dollars into ads supporting Arizona’s tough immigration law and advocating for one like it in Florida. Snyder’s immigration bill, which McCollum unveiled as part of his campaign platform, was largely a desperate response to Scott’s pandering on the issue. Since then, GOP Latino leaders have been publicly asking Scott to abandon his anti-immigrant rhetoric. So far, there is no indication that either he or his running mate is listening. Read more at the Wonk Room.