Gov. Rick Scott avoids questions about campaign problems

Gov. Rick Scott, headlining a ceremonial ribbon cutting for Interstate 595 express lanes that opened two days ago, attracted a large media contingent on Friday.

Political reporters, not transportation scribes, came to the Davie event – Scott’s first South Florida appearance in four days – to ask about the week of political turmoil in his campaign.

Scott didn’t oblige.

After an hour of speeches by Scott and a slew of public and private sector transportation folks and a ribbon cutting with over-sized scissors outside the Davie Police Department, Scott answered reporters' questions – for one minute and 21 seconds.


Hollywood Doggie Beach Pictures

He took a grand total of three questions.

The first concerned the resignation of a board member of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority who says he quit the government position and his Republican Party positions because he’s lost confidence in the governor. Scott said the appointee left after being told he wouldn’t be reappointed.

Here are questions two and three:

Q: What about Mike Fernandez, very, very upset with the direction of your campaign? (Fernandez, the billionaire Coral Gables businessman and top Scott contributor and fundraiser, cited problems with the campaign when he quit.)

Scott: Oh, God. We’re doing well we’re going to have record fundraising this quarter. Hey were heading in the right direction. Look at what’s happening in our state. Jobs have come back. Our education system’s getting better. We’re almost at a 43 year low in our crime rate. We’re keeping the cost of living low. We’re doing exactly what Florida families care about.

Q: How badly do you think you’ve been damaged by what happened this week?

Scott: Oh gosh. 6.2 percent unemployment, 33,000 private sector jobs in the month of February, 540,000 jobs since December 2010. Look at our education system. Our fourth graders are No. 2 in the world in reading. Fourth and eighth graders, highest student achievement gains in the United States of  any big state. Hispanic students, highest graduation rate. African-American students, highest student achievement gains last year. We’re doing really well. We’re on a roll.

At that point, Scott’s press assistant shouts “last question.”

Q: You didn’t answer the question. How badly are you going to be hurt?

Scott: Thanks everybody. Have a great day.