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Rick Scott prefers to remain in Tallahassee rather than join Donald Trump administration

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he has no interest in a job in the Trump administration.

“No,” he said when asked about it during a news conference.

“I’ve got 789 days left in this job. I ran to get this job twice, both hard-fought races. I believe in this state,” Scott said.

“I’ll do anything I can to help President Donald Trump to be successful. But I like this job, and I want to finish this job.”

Although he rarely campaigned with the GOP candidate, Scott had endorsed Trump and said his super PAC had raised $20 million to help him prevail in key states.

He called Trump’s election a “historic night for our country,” comparing it to his own election as an outsider in 2010.

“I was not the establishment candidate. There were a lot of Republicans that fought against me to win,” Scott said.

Of Trump’s win, he said: “The political elites are shocked, and a lot of them are dismayed. They just couldn’t believe this was happening to them. But the American people stood up and said, ‘We’re going to take our country back. We are not going to let Washington run our country. We don’t need Washington to tell us how to lead our lives.'”

Regarding other candidates for jobs in the new administration, Scott said Attorney General Pam Bondi would be a good choice.

“She works her tail off,” Scott said. “If I was President-elect Trump, it’s somebody I would look at.”

Scott acknowledged the challenges Trump will face as a chief executive of the United States with no government experience. He said faced the same challenge upon becoming governor.

“It’s so different than business,” he said.

“You’ve got to take the time and find god people,” Scott said. “We were able to do that, and I’m sure that’s what he’ll do. And never forget why you ran and what you care about. I ran because I care about jobs.”

Trump, too emphasized job creation. He also attacked women, undocumented immigrants, and Muslims, among others. A reporter asked: Do minority communities have cause for concern?

Scott replied that a strong jobs program would lift all boats.

“That’s my expectation that that’s what Donald Trump will focus on. I think he said it last night — he’s going to be the president of all Americans,” Scott said. “But if we’re going to live in a society we all believe in, let’s follow the rules.”

Concerning Florida’s relationship with the federal government, Scott hopes for a lifting of federal mandates. “We pay these federal taxes that they want to give back to us in different programs,” he said. “If we don’t do it the right way, our citizens won’t re-elect us. It’s exactly what happened in this election.”

And repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which provides health insurance to 20 million Americans, including nearly 1.6 million in Florida through the exchange, but which Scott asserted is raising health care costs too much.

“If you want to get good health care, the best way to get it is to get a good job,” he said.

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Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.

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