Friday, January 20, 2012

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he likely will not endorse in GOP primary

Gov. Rick Scott meets with the editorial board at the Bradenton Herald.

Gov. Rick Scott today said he likely will not publicly endorse a candidate in advance of the Florida Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31.

"I haven't made a decision, but I'm leaning towards not to do it," Scott said during an interview this morning with Bradenton Herald reporters and editors.

Scott said he has had conversations with the remaining candidates, and that all but one have asked for his support. In deciding whether to endorse, Scott said he remembers his own experience running in statewide primary in Florida in 2010.

"I was the outsider no one endorsed in the primary," he said.

Scott said he has offered the same advice to all the candidates: Engage with local Republican committees and Tea Parties. And talk about the one issue that matters most to the state.

"If you want to win the Republican primary in Florida, you have to talk about one thing -- jobs," Scott said.

Scott said the national attention the Sunshine State is likely to receive starting Sunday, after the primary in South Carolina, vindicates the decision to hold an early primary in Florida. (The Republican National Committee has sanctioned Florida Republicans because of the early date by slashing in half the size of the delegation to the Republican convention in Tampa and other measures.)

"We did the right thing," Scott said. "This is clearly a microcosm of the country, the biggest swing state."

"It looks like this will be the decider."

The interview with Scott touched on a variety of other issues, including the budget, education, health care and the lessons learned from his first year in office.

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