Gov. Rick Scott Tries To Steal Occupy Wall Street's Thunder
While many Republican politicians are waffling between mistrustful skepticism and outright hostility towards the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) is taking a different approach: appropriation. Scott, who rode into office on a Tea Party-fueled wave of anti-government sentiment, suggested today that the protesters have the same complaints as those who sent him to the governor's mansion — namely, "they believe government kills jobs."
Asked during an appearance on a Tampa Bay Fox affiliate what he makes of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Scott replied:
What's happening is I think people are frustrated with where the world's going. I think — I'll tell you what. In my race, the biggest frustration people had was jobs. And they're frustrated because they believe government kills jobs, whether it's taxes, or regulation, or permitting. So I think people are fed up with the fact of, that I want a job. So I won my race because I had a plan for jobs. I think we're going to solve these issues and I'm glad people come out and tell us what they think. By creating an environment where people can get jobs — and that's what I think about every day.
Watch (at 3:42):
It hardly needs to be said that Occupy Wall Street is more about out-of-control big banks' abusive practices than it is about a belief that "government kills jobs." But it's especially galling for Scott, a billionaire former hospital executive, to claim the support of the Wall Street protest movement. Scott departed his former hospital chain amid a scandal in which the company pled guilty to systematically defrauding the government for Medicare money — just the sort of abuse of taxpayers by the wealthy and powerful that the Occupy Wall Street movement might object to.