Rick Scott: Florida to be better 'braggers' than Texas

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 11:39am

Gov. Rick Scott in Florida has a message for his counterpart in Texas: Bring it on.

The first term governor, who's struggling with low approval ratings, said Wednesday he wants Florida-not the Lone Star State--to become the state known for job growth. And as he approaches re-election next year, Scott is staying focused the economy.

"Gov. (Rick) Perry's always bragging about how great Texas is, well look, 230,000 people moved here last year," Scott said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

During Perry's campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the Texas governor often pointed to his state's ability to largely weather the nation's economic downturn in the previous few years. He's also known for traveling to other states to lure businesses to Texas because of its emphasis on low taxes.

Scott, however, argued Florida is becoming the new haven for job growth.

Pointing to the decrease in unemployment since he took office in January 2011, Scott said Florida is "going to become better braggers than Texas about how we're getting more jobs."

The unemployment level in Florida has dropped from 10.9% to 7.8%, as of January. At the same time, the national jobless rate also fell from 9.1% to 7.9%. It now stands at 7.7% as of February.

"We've turned our economy around," Scott said. "There's a stunning contrast to the four years before I became governor. It's jobs, jobs, jobs."

According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 250,000 jobs have been created since Scott became governor-including about 127,000 jobs in the last year. Industries that have especially seen strong growth included construction and hospitality.

Texas, meanwhile, added about 310,000 jobs in the last year, and California added about 250,000--though both states have higher populations than Florida.

When Scott campaigned for governor in 2010, he ran on a platform of jobs and promised to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. Economic forecasts already predicted that a million jobs would be added during that same time period.


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