Gov. Rick Scott grabbed attention Tuesday when he took some not-so-veiled jabs at House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, as they battle about funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
And as if to drive home the point, Scott’s office sent out a transcript of his remarks to reporters. Here is that transcript from the governor’s office:
“Now I go into my next Legislative Session and I watch the Florida House — they don’t care about people’s jobs. These are individuals who haven’t experienced what I went through as a child; have never been in business; don’t know the difficulty of building a business; must not think about the importance of business or jobs; are not thinking about their constituents. … They are individuals who have never been in business and they want to lecture me. I’ve taken the risk of starting businesses. I’ve gone through the struggles of building a business. I watched my parents struggle. And now I have people that want to lecture me that have never done anything like this.
“When the House wants to stop Enterprise Florida, they’re hurting our poorest communities, they’re hurting our rural communities. When they want to say that we don’t need to do anymore marketing for VISIT FLORIDA, what they are saying is we don’t need any more jobs in tourism. Now let’s think of what’s happened. In business, what you learn is you have to get a return on investment. Otherwise there will be no shareholders who give you money, there will be no bondholders who give you money, you won’t be able to stay in business. So when I came in … I said, we’re going to get a return. I’m not going to put the money out unless we get a return. … And we’ve gotten a much better return than anybody’s going to get in their bank account.
“On top of that, look at what we’ve done with VISIT FLORIDA. We have increased the number of our expenditure and what have we seen? We have seen unbelievable number of new jobs and new tourists. The state had stagnated around 80 million tourists- 82 million tourists a year before I got elected. This year, we’ll have over 110 million tourists. Even after going through all the issues we had last year — whether it’s Zika or the hurricanes or other issues. We’re seeing tourism grow. So these are two groups that have gotten very good return for all of our taxpayers.
“But the most important thing — they’ve given people the opportunity for a job. A job creates hope, a job creates opportunity for your family. I know the importance of that. That’s what my parents struggled with. Now … we are seeing people that just want to run for higher office that are not concerned about what happens to other people. They just think it’s a nice soundbite. That doesn’t help anybody in their community, it doesn’t help anybody in our state.”