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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gasp! Gov. Rick Scott uses the 'p' word to slam his opponents

Gov. Rick Scott

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Gov. Rick Scott

17

February

It wasn't just that Gov. Rick Scott went into the backyards of a half dozen state representatives to call them out by name for voting for a bill he opposes.

It's how he did it that has state legislators still fuming.

In Tampa, in Flagler Beach, and Brevard County, Scott had a similar script, telling business leaders that he was "shocked" at the nine House Republicans on the Careers & Competition Subcommittee who dared to vote for a bill to kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. But then he threw salt into the wound, calling them the unthinkable: politicians.

"There's politicians in Tallahassee -- and one of them is your state Rep. Jay Trumbull -- who voted to abolish Enterprise Florida and abolish Visit Florida," Scott said in Panama City on Tuesday. On Monday in Flagler Beach he used the "P" word after calling out Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, and Paul Renner, R-Jacksonville.

In the political world, the p word has become essentially a curse word. And it's not sitting well with State Rep. Randy Fine, a Brevard County Republican, who on a talk radio show this morning took issue with Scott's language. Fine told News Talk WMMB-AM 1350 host Bill Mick that the people he serves with are doctors, lawyers, package delivery people, farmers and business people.

"Do these people sound like politicians to you?" Fine asked Mick. "These people are not politicians."

Fine told Mick that he is expected to meet with the governor one-on-one soon, but said in the meantime he's hoping to urge Scott to "bring down the temperature" in the debate over Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

"I hope we can come together and we can focus on an agenda that going to move the state forward," Fine said. "I hope we can sort of take down the volume here a little bit."

Fine sent Scott a letter on Wednesday after he he learned Scott was going to go to Brevard County to call him out. In it, Fine said it would be better for them to sit down and talk rather than "talking at each other in the media." The letter didn't stop Scott from going to Brevard County on Thursday to specifically call out Fine for being one of the 9 Republicans to vote to kill the tourism and economic development agencies.

[Last modified: Friday, February 17, 2017 9:35am]

    

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