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Jeb won't echo fraud attacks on Rick Scott

Former Gov. Jeb Bush gave a rousing endorsement of Bill McCollum for governor Monday, but he would not parrot the McCollum strategy of attacking his GOP rival, Rick Scott, in the primary for governor.

Instead, Bush emphasized that McCollum is a steady, trustworthy, experienced guy.

"I'm not in the attacking business any more," Bush told a crowd of Jacksonville Republicans. Of Scott, Bush said: "There's another guy in the race that I don't know much about. I've seen his ads a little bit. I travel a lot, and when I get home I try to watch ESPN, to be honest with you."

"He may be a good guy, he may not be. I don't know," Bush said of Scott. "He's kind of new to the game. In these kinds of times, I think it's good to have someone who's been tested, who's tried and true."

Speaking to reporters afterward, Bush said of the Medicare fraud on Scott's watch: "There was a huge fine." He questioned whether Scott has been scrutinized as thoroughly as he was when he ran in 1994. "I got scrutinized big time," Bush said. "But you know, there's not as much press. Traditional press doesn't exist to the same extent as it did."

-- Steve Bousquet

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