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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Governor Rick Scott On His Senate Race

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HH: Listen up. To my wonderful sister-in-law Snow down in Key West to my friends in the Panhandle, from one end of Florida over in Tampa and Sarasota, over to Orlando, listen up, because I’ve got your great governor, Rick Scott, joining me right now from Florida. Governor Scott, good morning to you. I’m telling everyone who’s playing Midterm Madness to pick Scott, because I think this isn’t close, and I think they’re going to call you early on Election Night. And it’s going to be a boost to the Republicans. How do you feel about your Senate race?

RS: We’re going to win. The, I’m hopeful, like you are, that they’ll call it early. We’re doing really well. We’re traveling the state. We have three rallies today, five rallies tomorrow. We had four rallies yesterday, big turnout. So it’s, the bottom line is get out and vote. If you have a mail-in ballot, take it to your supervised election. Don’t put it in the mail now. We do have, you know, Hugh, we have early voting today in the Panhandle where we had the hurricane. And of course, everybody’s got to get out tomorrow.

HH: And I’m on in the Panhandle. And I want to emphasize, they’ve got places, I talked to the Governor about the recovery last week. They have special places for you to go and vote. And they can vote today, Governor?

RS: Yeah, you can vote today in the impacted counties. Usually, you cannot vote the day before the election, early voting. But you can right now because of that. We just wanted, you know, the goal is we want 100% participation in this election, and 0% fraud. And so we made it easier for people in those impacted counties to vote. So it’s a clear choice. We’ve just got to get out and get out and vote, and we have a big win.

HH: Now give us the update on the recovery, because while it is the eve of the election and I’m here to talk about you’re winning this important Senate seat, I still want to know how our friends in Florida are faring who took Michael on the nose.

RS: You know, Hugh, I was there last night. I was there in one of the hardest-hit cities, Lynn Haven. You had a big barbecue last night. I don’t know, we probably had 800 people, something like that. It was a big group. And he’s more optimistic. All the power is back on. I think we have about 2,000 homes and businesses in very rural areas which hopefully will get done today. So the power’s on. The telephone line are working. Businesses are reopening. I was there two days ago, and some of the places where you wanted to, I wanted to buy a bunch of donuts for, my first business was a donut, for a recovery center. The line was about a block long. I mean, there were so many people coming down helping each other. Hugh, that’s what’s fun. This is, there are so many nice people that have come from all over the country to help people. They have put tarps up on people’s homes. They’ve brought tarps. They’ve brought food. They brought water. There was nothing about politics. It was just how can I help you. It was so sweet.

HH: You know, I’ve been watching the Marc Caputo reporting on the early voting, and it’s very, everyone’s enthusiastic in Florida. And I think that’s going to help you a lot. But I have also noticed the single biggest campaign gaffe of the 2018 season was committed by your opponent, invisible Bill Nelson, when he compared America to Rwanda and the Hutus and the Tutsis, the genocide. I mean, he really did that. Now no one knows about that because of blue bubble media not broadcasting it. But my jaw dropped. Does he really think Americans are like the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda?

RS: Well, you know, look, I was shocked. He said the country was becoming so divided, they were becoming like Rwanda. That’s where hundreds of thousands of people, it was genocide, killed. So he sees us slipping in there. But I’ll tell you what’s interesting. He didn’t spend any time in the Panhandle worrying about the hurricane. If you look at our Panhandle and look at the nice people, some people, I’ll give you a story. Some people came down from, I think it was Berlin, Ohio. They brought food and water. They were there the day after the hurricane, and I think they stayed for two weeks just feeding people, thousands of people every day. And it’s just the sweetest group of people that have helped each other down there. So our country, our state’s coming together. I know we can do it in D.C. I know we can come together. We’ve got to get rid of all this partisanship and say what’s good for our country, not what’s good for my political Party.

HH: Now I just had Salena Zito on. She has a New York Post column on Maria Elvia Salazar and on Carlos Curbelo. And they’re both going to win.

RS: Yeah.

HH: And I actually think you’re going to win the Cuban vote and the Puerto Rico vote and the Venezuelan vote and the Haitian vote. I think they like Rick Scott.

RS: Well, if you show, the interesting thing about it, Hugh, give, you know, tell people what you’re going to do when you run, and go do it. My job is to represent everybody in the state. And I’ve put a lot of time into making sure every group knows that I care about them, and I want them to get a good job, their kids get a good education, and them to live in a safe community. That’s what people care about. And so I try to do it for everybody in my state, and it pays off. And plus, it’s, Hugh, it’s fun. Don’t you, I mean, don’t you want to help people?

HH: Yeah.

RS: I, this is the best job ever.

HH: I tell people for the last couple of years, Rick Scott’s kind of a boring interview, because all he ever wants to talk about it jobs. So I can’t get him to talk about anything except jobs, and so you know, I normally like Lindsey Graham will come on and we’ll end up talking about baseball or football or something. But jobs, jobs, jobs, how much has Kavanaugh come up? We got this jobs report of 3.7% unemployment.

RS: Oh, a lot.

HH: I don’t know what it is in Florida. It’s going to be lower than that.

RS: 3.5%

HH: Wow.

RS: We lowered it to 3.5%. The jobs, so I was with the President Saturday night, and so he talked about the 250,000 jobs, and unemployment at 3.7%. I did want to say well, we’re at 3.5%. The job growth rate is faster than the national numbers. We’ve added 1.65 million jobs in the last 8 years. But no, we’re doing really well, but Kavanaugh, absolutely. People were disgusted about how Kavanaugh was treated. You know, Lindsey Graham came down and campaigned for me a day last week, and he said he’s never campaigned against another member of the Senate. But he said when Bill Nelson voted against the Trump tax cuts, when he voted for the Iran deal, and then when Kavanaugh, he says enough’s enough. He said this guy’s not representing Florida, because Floridians, we want, we want to take care of Israel. We don’t want to take care of Iran. We know they’re shouting death to America. We know we want our taxes to be lowered. And then on top of that, we want civil discourse. I mean, this was just a charade what they did to Kavanaugh.

HH: You know, yesterday, Governor Scott, I was on Meet the Press and I got asked about enthusiasm. I said there are two kinds of Republicans – traditional Republicans and Trump Republicans. I’m a traditional Republican. I was working with you 8 years ago when you ran for governor before Donald Trump decided to, but he’s got both sides of our party marching. I mean, the traditional Republicans on jobs and Kavanaugh, and the Trump Republicans on border security and rebuilding the Navy, just being a guy.

RS: He did two rallies last week, one in Ft. Myers, one in Pensacola, and there were thousands of people that couldn’t get in. And so you know, you always hear the stories of where there really people out there, and I mean, I was at those two rallies, and there were so many people who couldn’t get in, and there was so much enthusiasm, because he was talking about the things we care about. You know, we care about getting our borders secure. We care about reducing our taxes. We care about our military. You know, he announced that he’s going to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base, which is real close. He really, I have, Hurricane Michael went right over Tyndall, and it was a big deal when he announced that we’re going to rebuild Tyndall. That’s 20,000 jobs in and around Tyndall that are tied to the military presence there. So he’s done a good job for Florida. He’s made sure we got the money to fix the dike at Lake Okeechobee which Obama and Bill Nelson couldn’t get for us. So he’s done his job for Floridians. And he’s gone a good job with this.

HH: And you got Mayfair, you got Mayport, yeah, the military, the Navy’s down there. I got to finish by talking a little bit about the fact that weather might be a factor in Florida tomorrow. And this is a day where the turnout is going to matter incredibly. You’ve won the early vote. You’ll win the mail-in vote. But people have to show up tomorrow. What time does it open? How late does it stay? And of course, you’ve got the Panhandle time zone difference that screwed up everything in 2000.

RS: Yeah, it’s open 7-7. And then you go, we have an extra hour, you know, part of the Panhandle is open until 8:00 Eastern time, 7:00 their time. So everybody, you’re going to have an opportunity to vote. We’ve got a lot of polling places open. We have, we believe, Hugh, they say that they think there’ll be about 7.5 million votes, and I think 4.2 have already been cast, 4.3 million votes have already been cast. So we’re going to, you know, if everybody just goes out and votes, then we’re going to continue this process of making our country the best place in the world again.

HH: Yeah, we’re not going to look like Rwanda.

RS: No.

HH: We’ll have to tell Bill Nelson it’s not Rwanda. It’s…

RS: No. I mean, if you were, I’ve had two bad hurricanes in the last, this year and last year, and you can see all the people coming together – utility workers, the pre-cleanup people, small businesses. Everybody shows up to help each other. I was at one of the relief centers two days ago in Panama City, which was really neat because you just sit around and talk to people, what you need, and as governor, you learn a lot about what you can get done. And then last night, I was at this barbecue down in Lynn Haven that the mayor put on down there who’s a sweetie. And then some of the people, that was a release and they’re happy to be there. And we were able to take care of them. One lady was getting evicted, and without the right process, out of her apartment. And that all got taken care of. So it makes you feel good that people are doing their job. Everything I asked President Trump to do from FEMA, they did. Everything. Every time I asked him, every phone call I made, he returned my phone call, and FEMA did everything I asked them to do.

HH: Rick Scott, you’ve been a great governor for 8 years look, looking forward to seeing you inside the Beltway bringing some can do to the Senate that needs a lot of can do. Get out there and vote for Governor Scott tomorrow. It’s going to be the first one we put on the board tomorrow. And by we, I mean the Republican Party. It’s going to start a great night in the United States Senate, and a surprising night in the House when we pick up those seats in Southern Florida. Thank you, Governor Scott.

End of interview.


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