Addressing the Florida Medical Association last week, Gov. Rick Scott encouraged doctors to “get involved in the political process” because “somebody is actually going to win” the next election.
Scott, who’s leaving office next year due to term limits, noted that the legislative session that kicks off in January will be his last.
“I’ve got about 458, 459 days to go,” he told a group of doctors attending a day-long opioid summit in Tampa on Friday.
“I don’t say that because I don’t like the job. This is a great job. And there’s a lot of people trying to get it,” he joked, before giving the docs some advice.
“I would recommend that everybody get involved in the political process, because somebody is actually going to win. And it’s better that you’re involved in the process and you understand what they think and how they’re going to govern and you participate in it,” Scott told the physicians at the event hosted by the FMA.
The influential doctors’ group has a lot of clout in the Capitol, with a cadre of top-shelf lobbyists and a reputation for being able to kill legislation it views as unfriendly. The FMA’s PAC has contributed over $4 million to candidates and committees over the past six years, and that doesn’t include separate contributions made individually by doctors or their practices.
Scott, who’s mulling a run for the U.S. Senate next year, then went on to make a pitch for the job he’s done since he took office in 2011.
“If you like to try to have a positive impact on people’s lives, I don’t think there’s a better job than being governor of a state like Florida,” he said. We’ve been able to, because of people like you, we’ve added over 1.4 million jobs. We’ve paid off 25 percent of the state debt. I’ve cut 5,000 regulations. We have about 20,000 new jobs a month. We have about 350,000 people moving here a year. One hundred thousand of those people are moving from another country. We’re the best melting pot around. We’re at a 46-year low in our crime rate. So this state is absolutely on a roll. There is no place like Florida right now.”
Then he veered back to encouraging the docs to get involved.
“It’s really important that you guys are politically active because somebody will win the next election. If you’re not active, it might be somebody that you disagree (with), so I’d do everything you can to get the person that you believe in is going to do the right things for this state elected,” he said.