ORLANDO, Florida — Florida Governor Rick Scott welcomed several of the Republican presidential contenders to the Walt Disney World on Tuesday for an “Economic Growth Summit” sponsored by his political committee, Let’s Get to Work.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant confirmed to Breitbart News that the senator was staying in Washington for the Patriot Act and USA Freedom Act votes, but would submit remarks by video. Appearing live will be former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR).
Rubio and Huckabee have already entered the race, and Perry is scheduled to announce on Thursday. The others have been making preparations to join the race and are expected to officially declare later this summer.
Scott welcomed the crowd of business leaders, conservative activists, and media with a message focusing on positive developments in the Florida economy. According to Scott, Florida has cut taxes forty times during his tenure as Governor.
“The most important thing we’ve done, if you think about it,” said Scott, is that “you can get a job,” noting that Florida had added more jobs than even Texas in the past twelve months, for the first time in years.
He also touted educational improvements, saying that Florida’s fourth graders were now ranked second in the world in reading, and the state’s schools are closing the achievement gap between white and black students.
Tourism continues to be a significant factor in the state’s economy, and Scott said that every 85 tourists that come to Florida generate another job. The state is enjoying a four year run of record visitor numbers, certainly a benefit to the summit’s venue, Disney.
Scott said that he believes that the “next president” would be speaking at this event today, a group that notably does not include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), both of whom declined Scott’s invite to participate. (Presumably, even if they had planned to appear, they would have been stuck in Washington along with Rubio).
“The next president has to do what we have done in Florida to turn around the national economy,” continued Scott, adding that he had asked the candidates “to come to Florida to talk about one thing: how do we turn around the nation’s economy?”
The Obama administration, said Scott, “thinks they can spend your money better than you can…and they’re putting pressure on the states” to raise taxes and regulations. However, noted Scott, people were “voting with their feet” and moving to lower tax, more free market states like Florida. According to Scott, between 1992 and 2001, New York lost $71 billion in adjusted gross income and Illinois lost $31 billion. During that same period, Florida gained $100 billion. Obviously, that movement of money was connected to people: New York and Illinois both saw their Congressional delegations decline while Florida added seats.
“In Florida, we’re in the business of growing the economy, not growing government,” concluded Scott. “If we elect the right person, just think about what this country can do.”
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