Jeb Bush to Rick Scott: Knock off the immigration stuff!

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Former Gov. Jeb Bush said he would like to see a more positive campaign between Bill McCollum and Rick Scott for the Republican nomination for governor.

The former governor said that while he supports McCollum, he has talked to Scott and advised him to stop talking so much about immigration.

Scott has spent millions of dollars on ads supporting Arizona’s tough immigration law and advocating one like it in Florida. Bush said he wonders why.

“I don’t think that the Arizona immigration problem should be on the top of the list for a candidate for governor,” Bush said.

Bush is obeying the so-called 11th commandment: Don’t’ speak ill of a fellow Republican. But it seems clear that Bush thinks Scott’s emphasis on the Arizona immigration law is wrong.

“My personal belief is that when you’re running for the coolest job in the world, which is to be governor of Florida, you ought to focus on Florida issues,” Bush said. “The economy and education and how you reform health care.”

“I care about things that are important to Floridians. The first thing they care about is jobs. We came out with our 777 plan eight days ago, and part of that is talking about education,” Scott said of his campaign pledge promising seven steps to create 700,000 jobs in seven years.

Scott talked about all those issues Friday to members of the Latin Builders Association, a group of mostly Cuban-Americans inclined to vote Republican but also inclined to support immigration laws that don’t invite racial or ethnic profiling.

“Although we support comprehensive education reform, we’re not sure that every state should have their own immigration policies,” former LBA president Angel Medina said.

“I believe that people should come to our country legally. I believe that if you’re in our country and you violate our laws and you’re stopped by a law enforcement officer, no different than if they ask for your ID, they should be allowed to ask if somebody is legal or not,” Scott said.

Police officers in Florida can and occasionally do ask people about their immigration statuses. The Arizona law required officers to ask, but that provision was struck down by a judge.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.