By Roger Caldwell
In politics the experts say there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Basically, I decided that this meant that in order to survive, you had to watch your friends; as well as your enemies. But I thought that along party lines you could make friends, however, it appears that Governor Rick Scott is having problems making friends in his own party.
“Mitt Romney has had 53 events in Florida, and Florida’s Gov. Scott hasn’t attended any of them. Maybe Mitt lost Rick’s phone number,” says Eric Jotkoff, a Florida spokesman for President Barack Obama’s campaign.
Florida is a key swing state, but it appears that Romney has steered clear of campaigning with Gov. Scott. Whenever Romney is in the state, it appears that there is a scheduling conflict and Gov. Scott is now-here to be found. Some political observers feel that the governor’s low poll numbers may be part of the reason; many of the Republicans want to keep Gov. Scott off the nominee’s campaign trail.
In 2000 and 2004, Governor Jeb Bush was instrumental in helping his brother George W. Bush wins the state. In 2008, the Republican nominee, John McCain and ex-Governor Charlie Crist were inseparable, and Crist was almost chosen to be the Vice-President on the ticket.
“At this point, Scott is probably not an asset for Romney in this state. Romney is doing OK in the state. He’s certainly more popular in the state than Rick Scott is,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institution.
It appears that Gov. Scott has more enemies than friends, and everywhere in the state some group or organization is suing the governor. Recently, in the Florida’s Police Benevolent Association’s union newsletter Roll Call, the editor had some negative remarks about the governor. The governor was labeled with a disrespectful name, and it is obvious that the union does not support the governor’s policies.
As the Republicans get ready for their convention in Tampa on Aug. 27-30, 2012, Scott is more than just a governor in a swing state; he’s the leader of the state that’s hosting the Republican National Convention. At this point, he has not been scheduled for a speaking slot, because many of the national committee members think Scott is not a team player.
There is a rumor going around that Scott has been asked by Romney’s campaign to play down his claims of improvement in Florida’s economy and unemployment numbers, because it conflicts with Romney’s message of a failing economy. Eventually, Romney’s camp and Scott’s camp will have to sit down and get on the same page.
When Gov. Scott misses 53 of Romney’s state political events, there are some problems between the two camps. Gov. Scott likes to be a maverick, but at times it is necessary to be a team player. Over two-thirds of the residents in Florida don’t like their governor, and I wonder what the National Republican Committee thinks about Gov. Scott.
It will be interesting to see if Gov. Scott can be a team player, and be an excellent host for the convention. On the other hand, the governor can be silenced and be missing in action at the convention.