The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association on Thursday presented Gov. Rick Scott with a model of the ship he served on while in the Navy from 1972 to 1974. At a news conference, Scott shared a few stories about his time in the service, including having to overcome his fear of heights and avoiding the ice-covered deck when the ship was near the polar cap.
When he first enlisted, he said, he earned only $144 a month. His pay eventually increased to $288 a month. But, displaying his early entreprenurial chops, Scott supplemented his income when the ship stopped selling sodas. The governor said he would spend any extra money he had on sodas while on shore and sell them for double the price on the ship. "I made more money selling soft drinks on the ship then I did getting my pay," he said.
On a potential federal government shutdown, Scott said he didn't anticipate any halt in the flow of federal money to Florida. Generally speaking, he said, the federal government needs to live within its means and stop borrowing money.
On his vacation, which starts a the end of this week, Scott said he'll be in touch with his office by phone the entire time. He'll be fishing in Montana, and take a one-day side-trip to Aspen, Colo., for a meeting of the Republican Governor's Association. At the RGA meeting, he will deliver a lunch-time speech on what it's like to go from business to politics.
So what is it like? Scott said it's a good gig if you like people and have an interest in improving their lives.
"I just think about how growing up, when my parents didn't have any money, and how government was so aloof and there was no one helping us," Scott said. "In this environment you can have a positive impact. The two things you hear about is people want to make sure their kids can get an education and that they can get a job. That's what our primary jobs are."