Gov. Rick Scott Tries To Steal Occupy Wall Street's Thunder

October 17, 2011 4:15 pm ET — Kate Conway

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.

[h/t SaintPetersBlog