Gov. Rick Scott insists Florida’s economy is recovering

“Florida’s economy is headed in the right direction,” declared Gov. Rick Scott, citing the creation of 9,000 new jobs in June and signs of revival in the state’s housing market and consumer spending. “As companies are choosing to grow and expand in our state, we are continuing to see Florida experience a positive economic recovery,” Scott said in a statement after appearing at a state employment center in Pasco County.

Scott credits his policies — tax and spending cuts and a reduction in state regulations — as the catalyst for the improvement. He and other Republican leaders say Obama’s policies could thwart or derail that recovery. But analysts say the conflicting messages among Republicans could confuse Florida voters. Scott’s unwavering talk about job growth could undermine some of Romney’s attack in this key political state. Romney’s relentless criticism of Florida’s economy could erode Scott’s message of an economic revival.

Aubrey Jewett, a political scientist at the University of Central Florida, said Scott can try to distinguish his efforts to help the state’s economy from Obama’s by citing specific policies he has been involved in, such as trade missions or his efforts to bring new companies to the state.

“It puts Gov. Scott in the position of talking about how Florida’s economy is getting better but trying to target it and take credit for his own initiatives and trying to make sure he doesn’t speak so (broadly) that he is somehow bolstering President Obama’s case at the same time,” Jewett said.

Scott did exactly that on Friday when he delivered his weekly radio address to the state.

“This week, I was pleased to announce two companies that have recently decided to invest and expand their Florida operations, bringing jobs into our state,” Scott said, referring to plans for a major convenience store chain to come to Florida and the expansion of mortgage management company in the state.

Jewett said that in some ways, Scott’s jobs message is “a little bit irrelevant” in the presidential racebecause most voters will be getting their information from the waves of television advertising already blanketing the state. “The message that is going to influence the voters is the millions of dollars” in advertising, Jewett said.

Read more about Jewett’s thoughts on Gov. Rick Scott here.

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