If Rick Scott got an order from Mitt Romney to temper his cheery talk about the Florida economy, it clearly didn’t take. The Republican governor proudly boasted that his state was booming in a speech in front of Latino officials just hours before President Obama was scheduled to speak at the same event.
“Our state is doing extremely well,” Scott told the NALEO conference, which was held in Florida. “We still have 800,000 people out of work, but we’re changing it. Tourism is way up, jobs are up, housing prices are staying stable. If you want to buy a house, now is the time. “
He noted that Florida’s unemployment rate had gone down significantly in recent months after suffering the worst effects of the 2008 housing collapse.
“We’ve had the biggest drop in unemployment of any state but one in the last seventeen months,” Scott bragged. He went on to boast that local businesses were becoming more competitive as well relative to states like Texas.
Bloomberg reported this week that Romney’s campaign had pressured Scott to stop talking about how great the economy was doing as it conflicted with his message that the country was still in the doldrums under Obama’s leadership. Romney and Scott have both denied there was any discussion of toning down the rosy talk on jobs.
Scott is one of a number of Republican governors in swing states who have proudly claimed credit for an improving economy, a message that clashes heavily in tone and substance with Romney’s more doom and gloom pronouncements.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.