Republican Gov. Rick Scott paid for college by working at a doughnut shop and getting help from the GI bill. Now he says he wants low-income students to have that same shot at the American dream that he did.
Scott has called for lowering the cost of college, including challenging colleges to offer $10,000 degrees. On March 17, 2014, he repeated that message at a college affordability roundtable at Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes.
Democrats were watching. American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super PAC, used a video clip of a reporter interviewing Scott at the event to produce an online attack video.
While a smiling Scott appears to be standing in a library, a reporter asks: "In your first year in office you proposed millions of dollars in cuts to public education. Then in 2011-12 over those two years (you) signed off on tuition increases of 13 percent. You presided over cuts to the Bright Futures college scholarship program. To what extent is your recent efforts to boost education and hold the line on costs of education re-election politics?"
"All of that is incorrect," Scott responded, and then the video cuts him off. Text on the screen says, "Scott approved cuts to Bright Future scholarships," followed by, "Rick Scott is bad for Florida."
We heard the rest of Scott’s defense thanks to a recording by Miami Herald education reporter David Smiley. Scott talked up funding increases for K-12 education, "record funding for universities" and his fight to cut higher education tuition -- but he didn’t mention Bright Futures.
Education funding has been a hot topic in the race between Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Democratic frontrunner. Here PolitiFact will examine American Bridge’s charge that Scott presided over cuts to Bright Futures.