Florida governor visits, with jobs on his mind

Israel has emerged as issue in US elections because "Americans overall are extremely supportive of Israel," Scott says.

December 16, 2011 01:59
1 minute read.
Florida Governor Rick Scott in Israel

Florida Governor Rick Scott in Israel_311. (photo credit: Courtesy of governor's office)


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While Israel is a prominent issue in the US Republican primary campaign, it is the economy – not foreign relations – that will determine both the Republican nominee and next years presidential election, Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott said this week.

Scott, who left early Thursday morning after spending some five days in the country, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that Israel has emerged as an issue in the campaign “because I think Americans overall are extremely supportive of Israel.”

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Florida’s governor wants more business with Israel

But, he said, next November’s race will be won by the person who “has the best jobs plan” and who the American people believe “will get the country back to work.”

Job creation, and not politics – either US or regional – was the top priority of Scotts’ trip, and even topped the agenda of his meetings with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The first-term Florida governor, who was elected in November 2010, said that the purpose of his trip was to make business contacts that would ultimately lead to job creation in Florida.

Scott, accompanied by a Florida business delegation, said his state has a thriving high tech industry – with the third largest number of high-tech companies in the US – as well as a large defense related industry. As such, he said, it is a natural fit for Israeli businesses.

The Florida governor, who said his state had the third largest Jewish population in the US with 750,000 people, danced around the question of whether his visit was linked to his own domestic political considerations.

Asked about this directly, he went back again to the jobs theme, saying that he ran on a plan pledging to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. “I get a report care about how many jobs have been created every month,” he said. “That’s why people voted for me.”

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