12 April, 2018
But he repeatedly criticized "career politicians" and said he would push for term limits for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
"This is the melting pot of the world". He said Washington is "horribly dysfunctional", and the change starts in Florida. Changing the city's atmosphere is to be the focus of his opening salvo.
Chris King, a Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, said, "Rick Scott launching his campaign from Orlando takes some gall -- 612 days passed between the shootings at Pulse and Parkland and Governor Scott did nothing to keep Floridians safe".
"People are flocking to Florida..."
"Now we've got to take that same mission to D.C.", Scott said. Senator Nelson may have been absent in the comments, but that may be because Rick Scott is running against Washington itself every bit as much as he's running against Nelson in specific.
Democrats have been anticipating his move for months and have ramped up their criticism, noting that Scott had previously been forced out as chief executive of Columbia/HCA amid a federal fraud investigation.
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President Donald Trump carried the Sunshine State by 1.2 percentage points in 2016. According to Ballotpedia, the candidates split the polls, with numbers of undecided voters anywhere from 9% to 26%.
The gun issue is expected to play a key role in Scott's race. In the past, the National Rifle Association has praised the governor's record on gun laws. Nelson said Scott has not done enough - he wants universal background checks and a ban on certain types of semi-automatic rifles. He is term-limited from running for a third time. He added, "We're not going to see a change in Washington if we don't have term limits".
Both candidates are likely to tout their records.
And yet, though Obama squeezed by Mitt Romney, Nelson beat Cornelius "Connie Mack" McGillicuddy IV by 13 points despite the fact that Mack burned through more than $20 million, outspending the incumbent, when including both Mack's campaign and outside money. The governor, who has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, signed new laws raising the age to legally purchase a firearm to 21 and empowering law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals determined to be risky. A successful, multi-millionaire businessman, Scott made a decision to get into politics as a novice in 2010 when he entered the race for governor. "Bill Nelson and I have a very good working relationship".
Knowing of course that Rubio will need to work alongside anyone who wins in November, it makes sense that he would not be adamant about picking one side over the other and potentially alienating the other member of Florida's senate contingent. The National Republican Senate Committee followed with an ad bashing all Democrats, including Nelson, for voting against the tax-cut bill a year ago.
In a midterm election in which many political observers believe President Donald Trump's presidency could be an issue that could impact political races, Scott doesn't expect it to be an issue for his candidacy - even though he has been a supporter of Trump and the president has urged Scott to run for Nelson's seat.