Rick Scott floated as potential running mate for Donald Trump - Florida Politics

Rick Scott floated as potential running mate for Donald Trump

On Monday, Rick Scott said he wasn’t ready to endorse in Florida’s presidential primary election on March 15, but there are those who believe he might be leaning towards Donald Trump.

That speculation was sparked last month, when Scott penned an op-ed in USA Today, a column in which he wrote very favorably about the New York City billionaire real estate developer.

“I know Donald Trump personally, and while I currently have no plans to endorse a candidate before Florida’s March presidential primary, there is no doubt that Donald is a man who speaks and tweets his mind freely. But I don’t think his ability to give the most interesting interviews or speeches is the only thing that has him leading in the polls. I think he is capturing the frustration of many Americans after seven years of President Obama’s very intentional government takeover of the U.S. economy.”

The quiet speculation broke out into the open on Tuesday, when The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza listed Scott on a short-list of possible running mates that Trump might be contemplating as he continues to roll through the Republican primary and caucus calendar.

Like Trump, Scott was a lifelong non-politician until he opted to run for Governor in 2010. Like Trump, Scott made a fortune in the private sector.

Scott does have that unfortunate blemish on his business record: the $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud that occurred at Columbia/HCA. Scott created the health care company in 1987 and quit it in 1997, less than four months after a federal inquiry became public. But as Cillizza writes, “this is Donald Trump we are talking about.”

However, as John McCain learned in his choice of Sarah Palin in 2008, the first rule of selecting a VP (generally) is that he/she shall do no harm.

Scott hasn’t been the most popular guy in the Sunshine State, though he’s been popular enough on two occasions to get more votes than Democrats Alex Sink and Charlie Crist. Could he bring home the Sunshine State for the Republicans in November? The philosophy regarding the Electoral College map is that the Republicans must win Florida’s 29 electoral votes to win the White House, so it’s natural for The Donald to look toward the Sunshine State for a possible running mate.

Yes, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio could be available to serve if asked. No one on Earth can imagine Bush being offered the position, while Rubio’s energy and ambitions may not be a good fit for Trump, he of the dubious temperament. Trump’s insults towards Rubio have been relegated to mocking his tendency to sweat profusely during debates and consume mass quantities of water.

There haven’t been many popular opinion polls taken regarding Scott of late, but a Quinnipiac survey conducted last summer showed he had a 45-44 percent job approval rating, the first time since one month after he took office in 2011 that he didn’t get a negative approval rating.

Were Trump to select Scott as his running mate, the Florida governor would not have to resign his position to run. State law was changed (with Rubio’s help) so that an office holder in Florida does not have to resign-to-run for federal office. Were Trump-Scott to win, the Governor would have to resign, making Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera — briefly — governor. That is, unless CLC is also elected to the U.S. Senate. At that point, the line of succession dictates that Attorney General Pam Bondi would be named governor.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

39 Comments

  1. Good G-d. As a Floridian and a Democrat turned Republican to vote for Mr. Trump in the primary, I won’t vote in March if Governor Scott is his running mate, and then I’ll hold my nose and close my eyes in November.

    1. Douchebag. You change your stripes to vote for a scumbag and then you’re surprised that he’d pick another scumbag to be his sleazy partner?

  2. So he’s another crook? That’s all we need, a fool and a crook running the country. Have the nerve to say anything about President Obama.

  3. That would end the change part of Trump’s campaign, as Scott is criminality as usual. We would finally know what Trump was up to… He and Scott would be stealing all that was left.

  4. The Donald is far more intelligent than to choose Scott. I can forsee someone willing to learn, listen, and act who supports the same agenda by holding America’s working class , veterans and retirees as a priority. Serving our own first is a must

    1. Trump once demanded that vet vendors (selling scarves, hats, etc to make ends meet) be removed from Fifth Ave (NYC) because they were an eyesore and tarnished the image of that high end shopping area. NOW, he’s interested in veterans issues — now that he wants their votes. Trump is a scumbag.

  5. I would like to see the debt of this country cleaned up before China owns us… Can he help Trump do that??

  6. Scott has one small problem. No one in Florida likes him. Whether it be Democratics or Republicans!!!

  7. OMG….. Not Scott !!!
    That’s terrible, he has taken so much away from the brain injured people in the state of Florida. Sure they building handicap parks now, that is his reasoning of giving back to the people to help, Really !!!! The parks are wonderful but that doesn’t bring down the list of helping the brain injured… last year, 75 people out of hundreds, got help !!!!! As a mother that now has to take care of my daughter that is a mother herself, she never got what she deserved, and this is not at all about any type of charity, This is about rehabilitating the brain injured !!!! It’s about what he took away from them. and gave to the parks….I have hit brick wall and closed doors since 2010. And told these things and have researched them……… I’m a mother and grandmother that worked for a living and now have to care for my family after such a tragedy, to be told of the care that he had taken away, time after time again !!!!! He should of never been reelected !!!!

  8. OMG….. Not Scott !!!
    That’s terrible, he has taken so much away from the brain injured people in the state of Florida. Sure they building handicap parks now, that is his reasoning of giving back to the people to help, Really !!!! The parks are wonderful but that doesn’t bring down the list of helping the brain injured… last year, 75 people out of hundreds, got help !!!!! As a mother that now has to take care of my daughter that is a mother herself, she never got what she deserved, and this is not at all about any type of charity, This is about rehabilitating the brain injured !!!! It’s about what he took away from them. and gave to the parks….I have hit brick wall and closed doors since 2010. And told these things and have researched them……… I’m a mother and grandmother that worked for a living and now have to care for my family after such a tragedy, to be told of the care that he had taken away, time after time again !!!!! He should of never been reelected !!!!
    OMG!!!! NO NO NO.
    NOT RICK SCOTT……
    he’s a piece of crap !!!!!

  9. If Rick Scott is the VP all American wildlife will be doomed! He is responsible for the FL Bear Masacre of 2015. He totally ignored the majority of his constituents who were opposed to the hunt and sided with special interest hunting groups. How interesting that he would be on Trump’s short list of VP candidates, when Trump’s sons are notorious trophy hunters.

  10. Scott is so predictable…to call him a whore is an insult to whores everywhere. He’ll kiss whatever backside he needs to in order to try to stay relevant. The thing is, Rick, everyone now knows that you are a psychopath with no integrity, no honor, and aren’t even very smart. It’s actually time for you to don the orange jumpsuit and pay for your crimes.

  11. When he reclaims his abandoned campaign trail adoptee, the labrador retriever named Reagan, you will know he is serious.

  12. As a republican from Florida who will vote for the Donald- no stupid choices for v.p. no Palin and definitely no Scott. Scott approval rating if positive, is a fluke. Although Pam Bondi would make a great governor – Scott needs to be unemployed. Pick Christie or go west like Susana Martinez – great choice (female/hispanic background) instead of idiots

  13. This story is so not true. Made up by media to try to discredit Trump. He has not picked a VP & has never mentioned any names EVER. He was on Fox news this am & said it was to early to pick a VP. Total BS here

    1. Actually this info has made headlines by national media such as CNN, so incorrect. If you think Trump is far from what Scott is then just give him the chair and we’ll see how he can screw and bankrupt this country just like with his Businesses.

  14. There is no way I would vote for Trump if Scott is his running mate. That would be a disaster. One like McCsin with Palin. If this goes, kiss it good-bye for the Republicans. We will then have 4 more years with the Democrats.

  15. i am new to this site, and it doesn’t sound like Scott is very well liked in florida. i am a snowbird from Akron Ohio. i did see that he thinks that the fault of the economy in 2008 was Obama’s fault. that’s funny cause it was in 2001 that when Bush was in office that they signed a new rule that to by a house, you basically didn’t need any money to put down. Thanks George

  16. Absolutely not, your are going to kill everything you achieved until now. choose someone that appeal to the people and you win 100%

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