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Facing fire from Steyer, Rick Scott says he's ready amid 'Florida Beautiful' tour

Gov. Rick Scott gave a one-word response when asked Tuesday if he was worried that billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer is targeting him.

“No,” Scott, a multi-millionaire who isn’t shy about spending his own fortune, smiled during a Miami campaign stop.

“No,” he repeated.

But Scott is still taking precautions.

Just as the Miami Herald reported Sunday on Steyer’s plans — including Democratic buzz that he might spend $10 million in Florida — Scott’s campaign announced his “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful Tour” highlighting his environmental record.

At the same time, Democrat Charlie Crist was in Fort Lauderdale unveiling his “Fair Shot Florida” plan that, he said, was geared toward the middle class and students.

The two candidates traded shots at each other through the press and their campaigns. Scott said Crist, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, is a poll-driven candidate who will say anything to win. And Crist and his surrogates bashed Scott for not doing enough to help struggling workers.

Steyer’s group, NextGen Climate, also chimed in by email, calling Scott “governor sweet tooth” over recent Herald/Times stories concerning the governor’s decision to join other lawmakers on a secret hunting trip to Texas with sugar-industry officials, who last year sought and received a break on Everglades clean-up costs.

Steyer told the Herald Sunday that the choice between Crist and Scott is stark when it comes to climate change: Scott has doubted the science behind man-made climate change while Crist, as governor from 2007-2011, passed a bill designed to limit carbon emissions.

“We have one of the people running who passed the cap-and-trade bill. The other got rid of the cap-and-trade bill,” Steyer said. “This is a state that really matters because it’s a very important state in terms of population and in terms of where it’s located and what goes on here.”

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