Gov. Rick Scott’s big announcement on national TV on Thursday? He’s writing a letter to New York’s top CEOs, asking them to move their companies to Florida.
On a much-hyped appearance on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, Scott’s big reveal was a letter he wrote to New York’s top 100 CEOs, letting them know that they’d be wise to leave New York’s high-tax business climate and come to the Sunshine State.
His letter begins: “Do you like paying higher taxes to do business in New York? As a former CEO and entrepreneur, I know my answer to that question is absolutely not. After meeting with several business leaders in New York this week and hearing about the issues they face, I am convinced that every company in New York should be doing business in Florida.”
The letter goes on to highlight the various business advantages Florida has over New York.
Cavuto pointed out that a bunch of other Republican state governors are falling over themselves to hand out tax cuts to businesses to lure them to town.
“Who wins in a contest like that?” he asked.
Scott’s response: “Florida wins.”
On Wednesday, the governor signed a package of business tax cuts worth more than $1 billion over three years.
The rest of the interview touched on many of the points that Scott put in his letter—Florida is lowering its tax rates, reducing the size of government and creating jobs to reduce the state’s unemployment rate, and its great weather (Scott was standing in front of a screen projecting Florida’s tropical scenery).
Not in the letter: Florida’s nation-leading foreclosure problems, its 9.6 percent unemployment rate, its penchant for business-destroying hurricanes or the fact that 68 percent of Floridians believe that the state is still in recession.
Scott's appearance touting the positives of the Sunshine State comes at a time when the nation has been fixated on the “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been lambasted by national commentators in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Cavuto also asked Scott about the Trayvon case, mentioning that the New Black Panther Party that has put a bounty out for the arrest of George Zimmerman.
“This vigilante justice makes no sense,” said Scott, adding that he has spoken with Trayvon's family and assigned a new prosecutor to the case.
The Cavuto appearance is the latest in a public relations push by the governor to shape the discussion about his role on jobs.
With gubernatorial elections still two years away, the Republican Party has been running television ads touting Scott’s pro-business record.
Between oral arguments in the Supreme Court case and Trayvon Martin's death, Scott has seen a heavy dose of media attention in recent days. After speaking about Trayvon on CNN and MSNBC last weekend, Scott pivoted to touting Florida as a great place to do business before a national audience.