Under the campaign mantra, "Let's Keep Working," Gov. Rick Scott (R) extolled his record of job creation, balancing the budget and the successful legislative session as he made a campaign stop Tuesday at O'Brien Hyundai in Fort Myers.
The stop was Scott's fourth on his "Help is On its Way" tax cut tour.
Surrounded by supporters and flanked by area members of the state House and other Lee County officials, Scott told his story, stumped job creation and the state's cutting of $500 million in taxes while going after his likely opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, who served when the economy crashed in 2008-09.
Surrounded by supporters, Florida Gov. Rick Scott chats with constituents gathered
for his campaign whistle stop in Fort Myers Tuesday evening.
"We want everybody to have their shot at the American dream, and this was a great session for dreams. We cut taxes $500 million. Whose money is it? It's your money," Scott said. "In 2009 Charlie Crist raised the fee to register your car 54 percent. $400 million."
It is a fee Scott plans to repeal
Scott also said Crist passed legislation to raise tuition at state universities 15 percent per year and sent the state deficit spiraling while the state lost 832,000 jobs.
Scott said he held the line on tuition while adding nearly 600,000 private-sector jobs.
"I walked into a $3.6 billion deficit. Nobody was coming into my office to say they want me to cut some government programs or raise their taxes," Scott said. "We've cut the size of government and made it more efficient."
Scott had lots of help sending his message. Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, State Reps. Heather Fitzenhagen, Matt Caldwell, Ray Rodrigues and Matt Hudson also stumped for the governor, as did Sheriff Mike Scott and County Commissioner Brian Hamman, whom Scott appointed.
"When Rick Scott took office, unemployment was about 13 percent. Is it any wonder his slogan then was 'Let's Get to Work?'" Rodrigues said. "Ronald Reagan said the best social program is a good-paying job. Our governor understands that."
"The governor has been supportive of law enforcement. He's a no-nonsense guy. He makes things happen," Sheriff Scott said. "We need you to get out and keep the energy going."
After many of the presentations, supporters held up their signs and chanted "Let's Keep Working."
Afterward, Scott met with constituents for autographs and pictures. To nearly everyone, it was a great message he sent out.
"Our economy is clearly recovering, everything is turning the corner. We're selling more cars, seeing construction turn-around and this man is responsible for that and we need to support him," Fitzenhagen said.
"It's great to have the governor here talking about the wonderful things he's done for our area," Hamman said. "They've invested $20 million into companies and jobs in Southwest Florida and to Lee County. I hope he can continue that."