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Anderson Cooper could not help but make fun of Florida governor Rick Scott on Tuesday for repeatedly dodging reporters' questions.

Scott recently appeared at a campaign stop in Tampa with police officers in uniform lined up behind him. However, it is illegal for public employees to participate in campaign activities while on duty or in uniform. A police union official has filed a state complaint against Scott, accusing him of coercing on-duty officers to attend his event.

It was just a "bite-sized brouhaha," Cooper said, but Scott's refusal to answer questions about the incident was what landed him on Tuesday night's "RidicuList." Instead of actually answering the questions, Scott repeatedly said that he is "proud" that 40 sheriffs have endorsed him and that he is "appreciative" of the support from law enforcement. - Huffington Post, 7/16/14

Yep, Scott's set himself up for national ridicule:

Rick Scott, who ditched his adopted rescue dog Reagan after the 2010 election, and who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 75 times in a deposition, once again finds himself all over the Web and cable as the rest of the world discovers what Florida already knows.

He doesn't like to answer questions.

Name a subject, and Scott won't address it.

Climate change. Problems with the state's jobless claims website. How a sex offender slipped through the cracks and got a state license as a massage therapist. Amendment 1, the land and water proposal on the November ballot.

Scott might well revise his campaign slogan to "Let's Keep Working at Obfuscation."

His dilemma is that being ridiculed by national media outlets probably is not a surefire path to re-election. When networks use a big-state governor as a pinata, they're also making fun of the voters who put him in office and perhaps planting seeds of doubt in their minds.

Scott made CNN's "RidicuList," as Anderson Cooper said Scott's evasiveness "insults everybody's intelligence."

MSNBC, with its endless fascination for Florida politics, awarded him a place in its "Canned Response Repetition Hall of Fame."

Both channels ran the same video clip of Scott, eyes open wide, a frozen smile fixed on his face, dodging Tampa TV reporters asking why uniformed, on-duty sheriff's deputies were at a Tampa event promoting his re-election last week. It is illegal for public employees to engage in such activity, and illegal for anyone to coerce them into doing it.

"I'm very proud that last week, police chiefs endorsed me," Scott said earnestly, totally ignoring the question. "I'm very proud that 40 sheriffs have endorsed me."

That's a campaign commercial, not a serious reply.

With his very next breath, Scott said: "So we invite them to our campaign events and I'm very appreciative of the ones that came." - Tampa Bay Times, 7/16/14

That's not the only thing Scott's getting ridiculed for:

If LeBron James-size gaffes decided elections, Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign is on its way to fouling out.

On Friday, when Miami Heat fans mourned James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, someone from Scott World had a brilliant idea: Compare the basketball champion to . . . Charlie Crist, Scott’s Democratic opponent.

You read that right.

Scott’s campaign “attacked” Crist by comparing him to the wildly popular star who led the Heat to four consecutive NBA finals, including two titles.


The logic behind the Scott “attack” is rooted in Crist’s terrible 2010 decision to run for U.S. Senate and not seek a second term as governor. Scott World says Crist was trying to escape the state’s problems by going to Washington.

“What do these two guys have in common? They both ran away,” the campaign said in an email that contained a picture featuring the likenesses of Crist and James.

The Republican Party of Florida shortly thereafter Tweeted out the image with a link to an older attack ad, titled “Run Away,” that savaged Crist for the poor economy on his watch.

Judging from many responses on Twitter, Scott World looked clueless at best and pusillanimous at worst.

“Seriously . . . Making more Miami Voters not like you is not the way to go and makes my job harder in Miami-Dade. Work with me!” tweeted Stephen McDuffie, a former college Republican leader.

Daniel Ruoss, a Heat fan and chairman of the Florida Young Republicans, let loose a string of angered responses.

“Send in your applications. @FloridaGOP needs a new social media handler,” Ruoss tweeted. “The moron putting out tweets for @FloridaGOP should take a lesson from @JebBush.”

That last message linked to the former governor’s statement: “All the best to @KingJames as he heads back to Cleveland. We’ll miss you in Miami. Thanks for four awesome seasons!”

Fawning responses to Bush followed.

Same with his fellow Miami-Dade Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio, who beat Crist in the 2010 elections and lives in Miami-Dade near Bush: “Thank you to @KingJames for giving us 4 great years! Wish you much success back home in Ohio.” - Miami Herald, 7/13/14

By the way, these guys are going to keep pushing Scott on this:

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - MAY 18:  Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks during the Governor's Hurricane Conference General Session at the  Broward County Convention Center on May 18, 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.The conference was established to focus on the challenges caused by hurricanes and tropical events unique to Florida. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
In an effort to push Gov. Rick Scott into the debate on climate change, 10 prominent Florida scientists on Tuesday asked for an opportunity to explain to him the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida.

"We note you have been asked several times about how, as governor, you will handle the issue of climate change," the scientists wrote in a two-page letter to Scott. "You responded that you are 'not a scientist.' We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state."

Scott initially denied the impact of human-induced global warming when he first ran for office in 2010, saying he has "not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change." He has since been reluctant to engage on the issue, answering only, "I'm not a scientist," when asked about it.

The scientists, professors at the University of Miami, Florida State, Florida International and Eckerd College, believe they can explain simply why they believe the governor should care.

"Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern," the scientists wrote. "This is not a hypothetical. Thousands of scientists have studied the issue from a variety of angles and disciplines over many decades.

"Those of us signing this letter have spent hundreds of years combined studying this problem, not from any partisan political perspective, but as scientists — seekers of evidence and explanations."

The issue is likely to gain steam in the months ahead as the governor's race pits Scott against former Gov. Charlie Crist, who while governor initiated the most aggressive climate-change policies in Florida's history. - Tampa Bay Times, 7/15/14

And Scott has set himself up to get hammered by Crist:

The former Republican said he hadn't considered running for re-election after his 2007-11 term but that Gov. Rick Scott's actions on high-speed rail, education funding, the environment, ethics, Medicaid expansion and more convinced him that he must run.

"I didn't think this guy would win. I don't think anybody did," Crist said. "But he did. And I didn't also think, if he did, he would be this bad, but he is this bad."

Touting a spirit of working together in his administration — "it was not bipartisan; it was nonpartisan" — Crist said he would reverse the course on which Scott has set the state. He would clear out Scott's appointees for the Department of Environmental Protection, regional water management districts and the Public Service Commission.

He also said he would like to revisit plans for managed growth and work to address global warming and mass transit.

"This administration is not competent. It's not competent," Crist said. "Not only doesn't he (Scott) answer questions, they can't do anything right."

Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair responded by saying, "Charlie Crist is mudslinging again like the professional politician that he is. That's all he can do to distract from his total lack of transparency and refusing to release tax returns for both himself and his spouse."

Crist insisted that the key to the state's future remains its education system.

"You can't have a good job unless you have a good education. … If you're decimating your education system, you are guaranteeing a dysfunctional job market in the future for our state," Crist said, pointing out that per-pupil spending under Scott is still less than it was under Crist, even with a bigger budget. "So that's the first thing you do, is you restore faith and confidence in our education system. … Instead of destroying it, fortify it, nurture it."

He said he still supports Common Core but Florida needs a committed education commissioner and dedication from teachers and administrators.

Issues facing the next governor will decide the future of the state for years to come, Crist said, pointing out that the next executive will appoint no fewer than four members of the state Supreme Court. While some of Crist's own judicial appointments have had a conservative bent, Scott would change the face of the court, he said.

"If he puts four ideologues on the court, and he would, then it's over for minorities, it's over for women, it's over for choice, it's over for the environment (and) it's over for public education," he said. "Everything gets appealed there. The only thing that's been holding Florida on from complete chaos, in my view, is the judicial branch of government."

The next governor also will have to work with the Legislature to make decisions on issues such as gambling, immigration reform and Medicaid expansion. While Crist said he is "open-minded" on gambling and supports a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, he said his plan to persuade lawmakers reticent about accepting $51 billion in federal aid for Medicaid expansion would be to "shame 'em into it." - Tampa Bay Times, 7/16/14

While it's fun to ridicule Scott we have to remember that a lot is at stake here and we need to defeat this Tea Party extremist in November.  Click here to donate and get involved with Crist's campaign:
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - APRIL 14:  Former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who is currently the leading Democrat trying to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, greets people as he visits the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches held in the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center on April 14, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The former governor is showing a slight edge in the polls over Rick Scott as the campaign starts to heat up for the 2014 Florida gubernatorial election that will take place on November 4, 2014.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 485242121 ORIG FILE ID: 484821011

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 11:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by North & Central Florida Kossacks, Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and DKos Florida.

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