Blown Away? It's Time To Make Charlie Crist The Last Man Standing
You have to hand it to Republicans who love to hear their own voices and talking points. They like nothing more than preaching to the choir. That's why they spend so much time on FOX.
Rick Scott is no different, and that's likely why he chose to close out the eve of the election at The Villages, the largely Republican Stepford-like retirement community in central Florida, along with two more of the worst GOP governors in the country: Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal. Earlier in the week he spent time with another, Chris Christie (R-Sit-Down-And-Shut-Up), and stood by quietly smiling as Christie called Charlie Crist a "loser."
What a class act.
Scott apparently picked up ideas from spending the better part of the last month joined at the hip with Christie, who's no doubt propping him up in the hopes Christie will be the next GOP nominee for President (he won't be) in need of Florida votes. Scott's usually a quiet bully, letting others do his dirty work for him while he flees questions, cameras, and anything resembling accountability. But today Scott apparently decided to end his campaign by bringing the ugly hammer down himself.
“We’re going to announce at 8 o’clock that we kicked Charlie’s rear,” Scott said, drawing cheers from more than 200 supporters at the sprawling retirement community. “And he deserves it.”
This from the guy who vowed to end negative campaigning and accused Crist of the same merely because he told voters the truth about Scott.
“We’re going to announce at 8 o’clock that we kicked Charlie’s rear. And he deserves it.”
I'll just assume that this doesn't mean Scott has already "counted" all the votes, including the ones that have yet to be cast, (wink, wink) and that he isn't privy to something the rest of us aren't.
That being said, for whatever reason, today Scott chose to put his mouth where his bully tactics are. Because Rick Scott has been kicking Floridians in the rear for the better part of four years now, and his actions show that he's just getting started if voters give him another go at them. With unchecked power, no reelection worries for accountability, and a blind trust that keeps you from seeing what he may be profiting from at your expense as he gives the go ahead for oil drilling or rail projects to friends and big donors, those kicks in the rear he's given you so far are just a preview of what's to come.
I could list all the many reasons Scott doesn't deserve another term here now (and why he should have never gotten the first one), but if you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably as sick of reading about them as I am of writing them down, so I won't. If you lived with both Charlie Crist and Rick Scott as governor, you're also well aware of who the better choice is. So I will simply close with this:
Now it's our turn. After four years of watching him destroy the state and hurt those of us who like to live in it that aren't in his inner circle of profiteers, we finally, finally get the chance to tell Rick Scott to pack his bags, jump onto his private jet, and fly as far away from our state as possible.
It's time to make sure Scott has to rewrite his own words tomorrow. If you haven't done so already, go to the polls tomorrow, vote for Charlie Crist, and "kick Rick Scott's rear."
This weekend Charlie Crist and Gwen Graham will be accompanied on the campaign trail with former President Bill Clinton.
Meanwhile, Rick Scott will be appearing yet again with Chris Christie, a man who dreams of, but never will be President.
It's hardly a surprise that Christie is making yet another appearance with Rick Scott. First of all, it gives him a reason to flee his cratering approval ratings back home where many of his constituents now loathe him, and it gives him a chance to boost his ego by standing next to the one man who may be hated even more than he is.
After all, in the early days of Bridgegate, when the two of them held a fundraiser together earlier this year, they tried to keep it quiet and hid from the cameras. They didn't do that because they're so popular that they'd never get a moment's peace from groupies. They did it because they didn't want voters to know that they're boosting Rick Scott because they want him to give them a hand in taking back the Oval Office in 2016, just as long as Scott isn't interested in occupying it himself.
There was a time during his early days as governor when there were a few whispers of Rick Scott and the word "president," probably whispered from Scott to the press, but those whispers went silent real quick when Scott showed Florida he had no clue how to run a state besides just pouring tax dollars directly into the pockets of his business pals and later to any big corporation with their hands out after they got wind of his incompetence, lack of business smarts, and lack of ethics. Scott's own approval ratings scraped the bottom of the barrel and never came back up much further. Soon members of the national GOP wouldn't come near him. They even hid him from view when the 2012 Republican National Convention was held in his own state.
But now that Rick Scott's reelection is quite possibly doomed, Christie and Scott are hiding no more. It's now an all out desperate effort to snow the voters and rally support for Scott no matter how much misinformation they have to dispatch, and no matter who the dispatcher is. So here comes Christie, a man who wants so desperately to boost his own prospects that he's willing to appear with "He Who Shall Not Be Named, Nor Be Seen With The National GOP In Public."
That's how you can tell the Republicans are desperate. They want to win 2016 so badly they'll even stand in the general vicinity of Rick Scott in public, in the hopes he'll somehow win reelection and give them a hand. After all, Shady Rick has proven time and time again that he doesn't like rules (unless they involve one of those scary portable fans) and he's not afraid to ignore them. This week, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush joined him at a fundraiser and they even made a GOTV video with him, although that proved to be comedy gold and looked more like a hostage situation. The looks on their faces were priceless and worthy of a spot on The Daily Show (hint, hint, Comedy Central). Sadly for them, all the nice things they said about Scott under political duress will be preserved forevermore for all to enjoy.
This brings to mind another video which recently captured Chris Christie and his ego being themselves, where he said something that applies to Rick Scott, and even Chris Christie himself. He was talking about the voices in his head asking him if he was going to run for President. While he was busy explaining for the entire interview how he hadn't yet answered said voices, he said it was flattering to be asked if one is planning to run for President. Then he said if you really stink, they won't ask.
Well, as we know, the GOP doesn't let "really stinking" get in the way of asking their stinkers to run. That's how we ended up with George W. Bush. Even though he was a stinker, his brother helped him along in 2000. They want stinkers who can win, and if they can't win on the merits, well, you know what happens next.
So that would explain the national GOP's sudden interest in Rick Scott. He's the king of the stinkers, and while they want to keep him at arms length, they also want to keep him in the Florida Governor's office long enough to quite possibly help get their next stinker into the Oval.
Florida voters need to wake up and smell the corruption, and then get out the vote for Charlie Crist.
Rick Scott: Fear The Invisible Hand Of The Great And Powerful Charlie
Before Rick Scott was elected in 2010, he blocked voters from seeing a deposition he had recently given, in a case that came after he was run out of Columbia/HCA, the company he founded and the same one that made history for their rampant Medicare fraud. Scott claimed he had no clue what was going on while at the same time telling people he was responsible for making it the great company it became. He refused to take responsibility for the company's Medicare fraud, as he fled with a golden parachute, but did take responsibility for what he claims are all the good things the company did. It's the same kind of selective responsibility he embraces as Florida's governor now, most recently saying he's responsible for all the good things that have happened in Florida regardless of the facts, and blames everything bad on others, like President Obama and Charlie Crist, things that neither one had anything to do with.
It's Rick Scott's alternative reality, and he's working hard to sell it to anyone not paying attention.
Yesterday, Scott was due to sit for a deposition in California in a lawsuit he filed himself to block Florida voters from seeing what was in his email account, an account that he claims is personal, but which he and two of his aides used to allegedly discuss official business.
Fresh from telling voters in his third debate that he believed in open government and our Sunshine laws, Scott immediately sought to keep that deposition from happening until after the election, and yesterday he skipped out on it entirely to attend a fundraiser and campaign.
His supposed love of the rule of law and open government is laughable. He started skirting Florida's public records laws before he was even sworn in as governor, when his staff deleted his transition emails, and he's been doing so ever since.
Yesterday, while ignoring that deposition, Scott twisted himself into yet another "blame Charlie" pretzel by telling voters on the campaign trail that the deposition was just part of Crist's dirty political tricks.
What a powerful man Crist is, if he's able to first get Scott to hide emails from public view, and then use his invisible hand to force Scott to file a lawsuit in California to keep the emails out of public view after a court in Florida told him to fork them over, and then Crist managed to wave his magic Rick-Wand and before you know it, poof! Scott is ditching the deposition in the lawsuit that Scott himself filed.
It's just another move in the game Scott seems to have invented: Six Degrees Of It's Charlie's Fault.
Except, of course, it isn't Charlie's fault, nor merely a dirty trick he pulled. It's Rick Scott doing what he does best, avoiding public and legal scrutiny for his own actions. Well, that and that he's in a desperate neck and neck race with Crist, so he's adding more of his own money to the millions from outside groups and the GOP that haven't so much as moved the needle in his direction. Yet Scott still thinks more boatloads of cash will help him in spite of reality, so he skipped out on the deposition to attend a fundraiser. Making sure the public never hears a peep from him in a deposition, and that they never see what was in those emails until after the election is merely icing on Scott's deception cake.
When asked if he would return the more than $1 million he received from Duke Energy after he's made sure they can charge consumers practically anything they want, he said there was no need to return the money, and besides, "Crist was a lousy governor." (What the first statement had to do with the second is anyone's guess, but it doesn't matter. Blaming Crist for anything and everything is Scott's favorite new shiny object.)
He steered questions away from his deposition no show to Charlie's fault! Because of course he did.
So, in sum, Scott says you can't see what's your right to see: Public records on how your governor in the darkness skirts Government in the Sunshine Laws, and you can't see them because of the great and powerful Charlie, who was also a lousy governor.
As you'll see in the video below, so is Rick Scott. Watch as he ignored and tried to drown out a working mom who tried to ask him why he won't support minimum wage. Instead of listening to her, he started shouting out talking points about Charlie Crist. When that didn't work he got an assist from his pal Will Weatherford, the guy who cares as much about Medicaid expansion as Scott cares about either Medicaid or minimum wage: Zip. Apparently Weatherford's new job is personal aide to the governor, ushering Scott out of uncomfortable situations and away from all the questions he won't answer.
Scott has gone from saying "How would I know?" to "I can't hear you!" when the topic of decent wages comes up, and it's no surprise he had to flee under Weatherford's protective wing. Not only did Scott completely ignore and dismiss this woman's question, but he did a little projecting about himself while trying to score points against Crist.
Listen as Scott says this about Charlie Crist, "He can't win talking about issues people care about," while Scott completely ignores this working mom and the issue she cares about: Minimum wage.
That projection on Crist speaks volumes about Scott himself. Scott's rewritten his job description as not talking about, or taking action towards the issues Floridians care about, and voters need to get to the polls and make sure Scott can't win because of it.
When Rick Scott was asked at last night's debate what the minimum wage should be, he may have given one of the only truly honest answers we've heard from him.
He responded: "How would I know?"
Indeed. How would he know? He isn't even remotely interested in considering the subject of a minimum wage. After all, the minimum wage "makes him cringe."
His full answer was "How would I know? The private sector decides wages."
Apparently one of the things Scott doesn't understand about the job he's supposedly been doing for almost four years now is that he would have a hand in "deciding wages." Having a minimum wage means the private sector doesn't get to choose to pay their workers barely enough to get by, as many of them are doing right now in Florida. Worse, not only has he blocked a path to minimum wage, he's also helped make sure that many workers have to work even when they're sick. Without pay.
"How would I know?" Says the man who doesn't understand why you don't see what a virtual paradise this is for hard working people in Florida who make....who knows what?
Paradise for working people, to the millionaire Medicare fraud ignoring former hospital executive who purchased the governor's office, is a place where a ticket to the Happiest Place On Earth for a family of five would take a much less than minimum wage earner a over a month to earn, be they healthy or running a fever and sneezing all over their customers or co-workers for their trouble. (Something that Scott might want to look into the next time he's criticizing others for their infectious diseases preparedness guidelines.) Of course that same wage earner would never dream of purchasing a ticket to a theme park. They can barely afford to feed their families and pay rent. Besides, they probably have a second job on the weekends just to make ends meet anyway.
"How would I know?" Says the man whose state poverty rate has climbed higher than the national average since he and his millions purchased the governor's office.
"How would I know?" Says the man who clearly doesn't know, or care, what the little people he's been ignoring for years actually make.
Perhaps he should have just said "What do I care?"
During last night's debate, Rick Scott mumbled and fumbled his way through the discussion of the execution he canceled to accommodate a fundraiser for Pam Bondi, at her request. He finally admitted that was the reason he did so, after just shrugging it off as if an execution was merely just another unpleasant thing he dismisses with a smile and a prayer, like the recent shooting deaths of children who were supposedly under the watchful eye of his Department Of Children And Families. Scott topped it off with a flippant and sneering retort aimed at Crist (and Bondi): "Pam Bondi apologized, what do you want her to do?"
Oh, I don't know Rick, maybe you and Pam could do your jobs? And by that I mean maybe put Floridians and justice first for a change, instead of spending every waking moment groveling for the almighty campaign dollar so you can continue to find new ways to stick it to your constituents?
No, Scott and Bondi are two of a kind in that department. That's why Bondi would only participate in one debate that most Floridians were blocked from seeing, and why Scott can't answer a question during a debate without dodging and weaving, and only then giving an answer that is the exact opposite of one he gave before.
One of the most damaging, and stunning moments of tonight's Florida Governor's debate was when Rick Scott admitted he postponed an execution to accommodate a fundraiser at Attorney General Pam Bondi's request.
As you watch, notice Rick Scott's habit of eerily smiling while his unconscionable actions are described by others. Last week he smiled the same way during Charlie Crist's discussion of DCF child deaths on Scott's watch, and both last week and tonight, as his company's dirty Medicare fraud laundry was exposed again. It's truly disturbing.
Watch as he tries, and fails miserably, to dance around the truth, until finally admitting it:
Charlie Crist vs The Governor Who's Been MIA For Most Floridians Since He Was Elected
I've been largely absent from the blog lately, only because I've been busy undergoing a major move and, reluctantly, I haven't had the time to do both. However, tonight is the last debate between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott, and I need to weigh in.
I took a moment to say a few things about it on Twitter, but before I knew it, it turned into a mini-blog post anyway. So I'm repeating what I said there, and elaborating on it here.
What prompted my latest round of Tweets was this: Yesterday the Miami Herald published another story in what recently has been a great effort reporting on the disasterous job Rick Scott has done as governor, and the consequences. If you haven't read it, this one centers on Scott's management style when he was running Columbia/HCA and the company committed the largest Medicare fraud in history, and how Scott took no responsibility for his actions. (Well, unless you count the golden parachute he took with him when the company forced him to leave, which he later used to purchase the governor's office. My words here, not the Herald's.) Scott blamed everyone else instead, and that's pretty much what he does as governor now. Read the story for yourself here.
My two cents on that story, Rick Scott, and why we need all hands on deck to vote him out and put Charlie Crist back in the governor's office:
Scott's doing the same thing again now with Ebola: He slashed health department budgets, tried to block health care for Floridians and the ACA, and said no to Medicaid expansion, yet he now points the finger of blame at the CDC on Ebola preparedness. (Also recall how he "handled" the worst Florida TB outbreak in 20 years a couple years back.) He's also stoking fear and spreading misinformation about Ebola by wrongly telling people CDC guidance may be wrong, which is unconcionable as a governor. Of course, while this man who's "not a scientist" is criticizing them, he's also asking for federal money for Ebola preparedness. If he gets it, well, follow the money and see where it actually lands.
It's one thing to run a company and take no responsibility for Medicare fraud, but Scott can't do that as governor. He's not a CEO, he's an elected "public servant."
Scott can't claim plausible deniability as governor. He can't deny responsibility by saying he was unaware: That makes him an incompetent leader.
If Scott owns up to his failures as governor, that also makes him an incompetent leader.
Scott ASKED to be elected as governor of the state. He wasn't just appointed as Florida's CEO. He doesn't own the state. The oath of office he took still means something. Does he also deny knowing what that oath actually said?
No matter what side you view this from, Rick Scott is a disaster and a failure who's never taken responsibility for anything he's done.
That's also why all the newspapers that still want to be taken seriously haven't endorsed Scott and chose Charlie Crist. Scott is a walking disaster destroying our state.
The Florida GOP knows Scott's a disaster. They didn't want him either at first and got stuck with him. So they invested heavily in him anyway and now they own him and his mess. Their recent attempts to make lemonade out of Gov. Lemon have been laughable, stupid, unutterably unbelievable, and a real stretch, to put it in the mildest of terms. The finger pointing and circular firing squad that results after he's gone will no doubt be a spectacle to watch.
When Rick Scott's term as governor ends, he'll leave the state and the mess he made of it behind. Floridians will be stuck with his tragic choices.
You think four years of Scott were bad, imagine four more when he has no political obligations to run on again. He'll turn what's left of Florida's resources into a fire sale. (Literally. He refuses to act on climate change because he's not a scientist.)
Unless you're a millionaire with a vested interest in profits down the line, there's NO good reason to vote for Scott. None. But you'll still pay for it if he wins again. Just add it to your growing tab.
At tonight's debate, when Scott says he's taken responsibility, ask yourself how? Look at his history. When have you ever seen him do so?
Scott's never been popular, always at the bottom of the barrel in approval ratings. He didn't purge the voter rolls because he's a great guy.
When numbers don't add up for Rick Scott, he just changes the numbers.
When he can't answer questions he creates distractions, like the fan stunt at last week's debate. It's since come out that Scott's team was trying to get the entire debate cancelled over a fan and to pin the whole debacle on Crist on Scott's behalf. It backfired on him and only called attention to his own dodge and weave tactics on the national stage.
After Scott "hit the fan" he blamed it on his staff, and the debate organizers. He took no responsibilty. He blamed it on everyone but himself. He even blamed Crist anyway in one of the most bizarre television moments ever when he told the audience who watched Crist standing next to Scott's empty podium for six minutes, that it was Crist who didn't show up. Scott demanded that you ignore your lying eyes and step into Scottworld's alternative reality. He thinks you're stupid, and he was telling you so in front of a nationwide audience.
For that, he wants your vote.
I wouldn't be surprised if Scott's team has spent the last week pressuring CNN to go easy on him. He can't stand on his record. He's got nothing. That's what the GOP does: Bully the media into doing what they want. Most of the time, that works. CNN has already said no fans. Let's hope they don't let Scott and his team of incompetents run the show tonight.
Scott barely got elected once. If voters let him win another one (with or without an assist from his beer lobbyist Secretary Of State charged with the election) he gets the last laugh.
He'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Just don't ask Scott what's in his blind trust. He's counting on your blind trust in him. No questions!
If you haven't already voted, do it now. Vote by mail, vote early. Take someone else who hasn't voted with you. Get out the vote. Voters remorse is costly, and we've paid enough already as it is.
The second debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist just ended, and the most that anyone will remember is the empty podium beside Crist, after Rick Scott said he refused to participate in the debate because Charlie Crist had a fan under his podium. Scott claimed it violated the rules.
Yes, Rick Scott went diva with a stunt, and it backfired.
Scott hit the fan.
It may have been the latest tactic for Rick Scott to avoid questions we've witnessed. The stunt ate up six minutes of debate time, and Crist handled it perfectly, saying he couldn't believe we were debating a fan when there are serious issues to be discussed that Floridians are facing.
That pretty much sums up what a lot Floridians think of Rick Scott. His promises are as empty as his podium was for those six minutes. As the debate ended, Scott even tried to turn it around in a bizarre fumble of an excuse and said Charlie was the one who refused to show up. It was stunning even for the incredibly inept Scott.
As far as the rest of the debate went, Rick Scott might as well have skipped the entire thing. He fumbled, he mumbled, he dodged questions as always, and many of his non-answers were incoherent. At times it was hard to recall what the question was in the first place. Every answer turned into "jobs" or "Charlie's fault."
In short, Rick Scott's got nothing, and tonight it showed more than usual.