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Rick Scott: ‘Now is not the time for politics’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida Governor Rick Scott visited Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center on Sunday afternoon, as Jacksonville continues to recover from the wrath of Hurricane Matthew.

Scott has been a fixture in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida since Matthew began to pose a threat last week, and spent all day Sunday in Jacksonville, including a trip to Jacksonville Beach in the afternoon.

Throughout this week, Scott has been much more comfortable with questions about managing a natural disaster, rather than the political disaster being experienced by Donald Trump, his political ally who has been the subject of acute controversy in recent days for his comments regarding women, which include statements like “grab them by the [expletive deleted]” and admissions that, during beauty pageants he sponsored, he’d walk backstage and wish contestants “good luck” while they were in various stages of undress.

On Saturday, Scott ducked a Trump question from Steve Bousquet, saying that Saturday wasn’t the time for politics.

On Sunday, Scott ducked a similar question from this outlet, which posed the question in the context of House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran saying that Trump’s comments were “repugnant.”

“Clearly what he said was wrong. I completely disagree with it. But now is not the time for politics in this state. We still have people without power, over 200,000 people without power. We need to get our schools open. That’s what I’m focused on.”

In a follow-up question, we asked whether or not Scott believed that President Obama’s decision not to fulfill the complete request made for a disaster declaration was rooted in Scott’s decision not to extend the voter registration deadline past Tuesday.

Some have asserted this decision amounts to voter suppression.

Our question: was Obama’s failure to completely grant Scott’s request rooted in politics?

“My goal is to get our state back to work. We’ll work hard to make sure everybody gets back to work in our state. We’re working with FEMA. We’re working with the Army Corps. There’s issues with regard to our beaches. We took a helicopter ride yesterday from Volusia all the way up to Nassau. We looked at some of the beach erosion … the Army Corps is doing an assessment of our ports.”

Scott added that “we want everybody back to normal. We want them to have their jobs back, their kids back in school, we want to have our government work the way it normally works.”

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at

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