Since he took office, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been trying to match Texas' record at creating new jobs. Texas is still winning, but on Monday Scott got a measure of revenge, defeating Gov. Rick Perry in a two-hour fishing derby off the Gulf of Mexico in Destin.
"We won. That's all that matters," Scott said as he and Perry returned to shore at the HarborWalk complex in Destin, reporting that Florida caught five fish and Texas caught two. (Texas, however, did catch the biggest fish of the day, a delectable-looking red snapper). "It was thiiiiis big," Perry exclaimed. "Swam all the way from Texas."
Scott wore a Navy blue ball cap emblazoned with "Beat Perry," and Perry wore a cap that said "I'm worried." They fished aboard the 65-foot commercial fishing boat "Relentless," and both governors brought along combat veterans who were also skilled anglers.
Either the governor's office was supremely confident or they knew the outcome in advance: Scott presented Perry with a large trophy that said "#2" on it. Accepting the award, Perry said: "Trust me. I'm going to go home, and we're going to tax, regulate, and litigate, so that Florida will be back in its rightful place at Number 2."
Even though Scott and Perry are engaged in a good-natured competition for jobs, the two men are ideologically very compatible, and have a mutual dislike for President Obama, Obamacare, and government regulations.
Texans love the Emerald Coast's white, sandy beaches, but P.erry said it was first visit back to Destin since 1971.
-- Steve Bousquet