Rick Scott slams Ron DeSantis: “Go solve problems. Quit blaming others.”
Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Rick Scott Ron DeSantis
Unemployment failures ... who's at fault?

The blame game continues for Florida’s current and former Governors regarding failures in the state’s unemployment system, with Sen. Rick Scott disclaiming responsibility for the ongoing situation.

Scott made the comments Wednesday afternoon on the Fox Business Network, in the wake of criticisms from DeSantis, who said the CONNECT system was designed to fail, replete with “pointless roadblocks” designed to discourage claims.

The Senator’s take was that the Governor should handle his business.

“Go solve problems,” Scott advised. “Quit blaming others.”

“It’s a tough time to be Governor. Some people are leaders. Some people take responsibility. Some people solve problems. And some people blame others,” Scott said to host Charles Payne.

When asked if DeSantis was blaming him, Scott redirected.

“My experience is what you appreciate is people saying ‘You know what? I came in here. I fixed problems. I worked hard to solve the problems I committed to do.”

Whether Scott’s words silence the current Governor remains to be seen.

In an interview with Jim DeFede of CBS 4 in Miami over the weekend, Gov. Ron DeSantis again reminded Floridians that he inherited the failed CONNECT system from his predecessor.

“I think the goal was for whoever designed, it was, ‘Let’s put as many kind of pointless roadblocks along the way, so people just say, oh, the hell with it, I’m not going to do that’,” DeSantis told DeFede, before distancing himself from that philosophy.

DeSantis stopped short of blaming the former Governor personally but said the system was “definitely” built to fail.

“I’m not sure if it was his [intention], but I think definitely in terms of how it was internally constructed, you know. It was definitely done in a way to lead to the least number of claims being paid out,” the Governor told the Miami reporter.

With Florida now deep into the second year of the DeSantis administration, it remains to be seen when or how the overhaul of all systems to be “user friendly” will happen. DeSantis has touted increased payouts from the system amid a series of technical improvements during the spring and summer.

But for DeSantis, who has been dogged by falling poll numbers amid scrutiny of his handling of the coronavirus crisis, the unemployment issue has proved to be a helpful refrain to remind people that he’s not Rick Scott.

The Governor likened the CONNECT system to a “jalopy in the Daytona 500” back in May.

“The system broke and we had to make a decision how to go forward…. In fact, the system was so bad it basically needed to be redesigned,” the Governor said.

DeSantis said “when the dust settles” there would be an Inspector General investigation into the procurement process. While the dust hasn’t settled yet, DeSantis discussed the ongoing investigation with DeFede.

“From the end of the third week, third, fourth week of March through most of April, you know, we were in really dire straits with that system. So I do think we should get the results of the IG. And then, if there needs to be some type of suit or some type of accountability, we absolutely need to do it. I mean, my thing is like a lot of these unemployment systems throughout the country, you know, weren’t very good, but a lot of them were like 40, 50 years old. Ours wasn’t really old. I mean, ours was really five, six years ago. And it should have been done better for that price tag to produce better results.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


13 comments

  • Harvey

    August 5, 2020 at 10:15 am

    I have had an issue going on 4 months and it is still impossible to talk to a live person that has any knowledge or influence.

    The online system is still very user unfriendly and when I did speak to a Call Center Generalist, on the job just two weeks, she seemed pretty sharp, but obviously needed more training as I had to show her some things on the system she wasn’t aware of. Btw, I am still waiting for a call back from person of influence going on 48 hours.

  • Ellen

    August 5, 2020 at 11:37 am

    It’s an utter mess. My spouse has struggled with it many, many hours. UI is incomprehensibly bad.

    How voters keep voting for someone like Scott is beyond me.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Lol loving the blaming game between two goptrump sociopaths trying to please the goptrump cult sociopath racist sexist liar leader trump! Nazi Rick and Duffus Desantis deserve each other! We in Florida have got to vote out these two low life’s ! Better yet let’s recall both of em!

      • john bates

        August 7, 2020 at 2:52 pm

        What does Gillum have to do with any of this? He’s been out of the picture for 2 years

    • Lonny

      August 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      I thought Scott was bad — DeSantis is worse Floridians get what they deserve, voting counts!

  • Frankie M.

    August 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    As much as I love this pissing contest why can’t they just save their shananigans for a Stepbrothers 2 sequel? Maybe call it Strepbrothers? See what I did there?

  • Ocean Joe

    August 5, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Scott said in the interview that the governor should not be blaming others, and then immediately went on to blame Ken Lawson. Watch all Three Stooges wind up in the 2024 presidential primary, if so Scott will be Moe.

  • PeterH

    August 6, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Let’s get to the crux of the Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis problem. Rick Scott paid an IT political operative taxpayer money to deliberately develop an unworkable unemployment system to make it cumbersome for needy people to retrieve resources to put food on their table. Neither candidate ever envisioned that Florida would be hit with a hurricane or a pandemic. Neither candidate has a clue on how to get control on a pandemic. But read on…….

    This Politico article on Susan Rice’s management of the Ebola crisis is excellent and relevant to compare to today’s COVID-19 response by the Trump Administration. Only voters can take back our country and correct the current administration’s incompetence.

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/06/susan-rice-pandemic-ebola-391469

  • Booner

    August 6, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Rick Scott hisses, Ron DeSantis twiddles his thumbs, while Florida’s workers and their families get screwed. Nobody willing to admit to or fix this mess.

    Republican baloney. Disgusting and no excuses will do. Justice is coming, so are re-elections.

    Odious Rick Scott of Trump Cult – deny and deflect.
    Do Nothing DiSantis of Skull and Bones, Trump Cult probationer – pretends to care.

    • The Gipper

      August 6, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Gov. DeSantis is a straight shooter and is doing a great job. If you don’t like FL you can always move to another state.

      You Dems almost put a morally bankrupt drug addicted philanderer in the Governor’s office.

      DeSantis was dealt a bad hand on the CONNECT SYSTEM and is trying to correct it. Give the man a break.

  • Florida Voter

    August 6, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    So genius DeSantis now wants to hire the same company to “fix” the system for more millions? Too many people got through? We don’t want all those lazy Floridians getting government handouts, do we? They can just find a place somewhere out of sight to lay down and die.

  • Richard Hughes

    August 8, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I’ll pass on The Gipper’s Kool-aid buzz. Blaming Dems for philanderer Gillum all while swilling Drumph’s lies? Amazingly hypocritical.

Comments are closed.


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