Mitt Romney held three high-profile Florida campaign events Wednesday in three vitally important markets of Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville. But as usual, Gov. Rick Scott was nowhere to be seen.
Scott has said it's not true that he's deliberately avoiding appearing in public with his party's presidential candidate. "As governor, you do have a job to do," he has said. But Scott's popularity with Florida voters remains a problem and his message that Florida's economy is improving is at odds with Romney's gloomy assessment of the economy. In terms of messaging, the two Republicans are an odd couple.
In Scott's absence, another Florida governor, Jeb Bush, shared the spotlight with Romney in Tampa and later on the Coral Gables campus of the University of Miami. In Tampa, Romney heaped praise on Bush, calling him "the education governor," at a time when Scott has been striving to be perceived as an ally of public school teachers, parents and students.
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-- Steve Bousquet