Former Gov. Jeb Bush arrived early to the campaign for governor today with an endorsement of Gov. Rick Scott, commending him for a "business-friendly" climate and a dropping unemployment rate.
Bush praised Scott on education, but made no mention of the emerging battle between Scott's acolytes and his own over implementation of the Common Core education standards. Scott has attempted to appease the Tea Party and other conservatives by stalling the implemenation of the controversial standards pursued and supported by Bush's education foundation.
The Florida Democratic Party noted what a difference four years make. It pulled out this quote from Bush's endorsement of then Attorney General Bill McCollum, who lost to Scott in the primary:
"Never in my mind did I imagine some guy stroking a $25 million or $30 million check out of his own bank account to run a campaign," Bush said at the time. "People think that's a little weird. I think he has to explain why that's a legitimate way of campaigning.”
Here's Bush's statement from the Republican Party of Florida, which is operating as Scott's campaign team until he announces. The Jeb video on McCollum follows:
"I'm pleased to endorse Governor Scott for re-election and look forward to supporting his campaign during the coming year.
"It's simple why I'm supporting Rick Scott. He campaigned on a platform of getting Florida's economy back on track, and has delivered on that promise.
"Governor Scott pledged to reinstate a business-friendly climate that fosters growth and job creation. Since taking office, Florida's unemployment rate has fallen 4.1 percent, more than 365,000 jobs have been created and taxes have been cut for families and businesses.
"While President Obama and Democrats in Congress are fixated on penalizing success, Governor Scott is pursuing policies to restore prosperity for more Floridians while prioritizing core state responsibilities, including increasing the state's investment in education.
"Rick Scott demonstrated leadership when Florida needed it most, and he is the best candidate to lead our state for four more years."
Governor Rick Scott said, "I am grateful to have the support and friendship of Governor Jeb Bush. His time as Governor built a strong foundation for Florida's future by making our education system more accountable and our state's economy more attractive to job creators. His positive vision for Florida continues to inspire us today as we work to cut taxes and get our economy back on track."
Here's the McCollum endorsement: