Interviews

Isaac strengthening in Atlantic, Tampa readies

Florida Governor Rick Scott on threat of storm, preparations

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": In the meantime, to Tallahassee, Florida, where Republican Governor Rick Scott is warning Floridians to be presented.

Are they? Are you, Governor?

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: We are absolutely prepared.

We have been doing two-a-day briefings with the RNC, the federal government and local government to keep everyone informed and give everyone the same information. And you just heard about the storm.

The Keys will get hit and get some wind around 2:00 on Sunday afternoon, it sounds like. So we are ready. We have got a great emergency management team. The RNC is ready. They have prepared for this. We did a simulation just like this for Tampa earlier this year. We are ready. We will have a great convention.

But I'm responsible for the whole state. And our citizens are prepared. We are prepared for two things, for a storm. And we're also prepared to take care of the 50,000 delegates and others that will come to the convention and give them a great convention.

CAVUTO: So, the fears that some had going to that convention that this thing might be delayed or interrupted, you do not see that happening?

SCOTT: Well, in the last 36 hours, the storm has headed a little bit further west.

And so it looks like we will get rain and wind in Tampa, but not a hurricane. Hopefully, it will continue to go a little bit further west and we will get less rain. And like you just heard, our state is pretty wet right now, so there are different parts of the state. If we get a lot of rain, we will get some flooding.

CAVUTO: Do you -- I think know Floridians are a pretty sturdy lot. They are used to this sort of thing. Of course, we haven't had as many storms as we have had in the past in your fine state. But do they get blasé about this or say, oh, well, it never amasses to much more than a tropical storm, we have nothing to worry about? I know the other day, Governor, you were reminding me, and it was a good remainder, that a lot of rain and a lot of wind can still cause a lot of problems. How do you characterize how Floridians are preparing for this?

SCOTT: Well, we have got a very good emergency management team and local.

Some of the citizens, we -- we are a state where a lot of people are moving in. So, they may not have been through a hurricane.

CAVUTO: Right.

SCOTT: But the people who have been here know you need three days of food and three days of food water and have a plan, talk to your relatives, talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors. That's the message we're getting out. And people are getting ready.

CAVUTO: If you don't mind me going to the convention, Governor, you have a speaking there, a prominent role at that, not just because it is your home state, but you are considered among the party's more luminous starts.

And there does seem to be a fear here that Republicans with these close polls in a still lousy economy somehow are not getting the message out or the president is benefiting just the same. What do you think Republicans have to do, what you want to do when you speak, what do you think Mitt Romney should do when he speaks?

SCOTT: Right.

Well, this year is similar to 2010, when I won. It is going to be all about jobs. If you have a job, you are worried about losing it. If you do not have a job, you are worried about getting one. So, every message should be, how are we going to turn this economy around?

Florida has had the biggest drop in unemployment in the last 19 months in the nation. And we have done it with lower taxes and less regulation, and a pro-business attitude. What Governor Romney needs to do is talk about the same things, which he's doing, and I think by November, there will be a clear choice, someone who wants bigger government, and someone who wants more business.

CAVUTO: Do you get troubled or do you pay attention -- you are a former businessman, so you can relate to the business side of Mitt Romney and the fact that for whatever reason he is considered less likable than is the president.

I think a lot of times -- I think you and I have chatted about this before -- it's because the American public doesn't know Mitt Romney, as well obviously as the president -- but that he has to work on that, because he's at a serious disadvantage to the president on that. How do you showcase how likable you are?

SCOTT: If you sit down with Governor Romney, he is a very likable guy. He just has to spend more time, which any new candidate does that is telling their story, and talk to people about what he is doing. But he is getting out there. We just had an event in St. Augustine last week. He expected 1,500 people and they had 5,000.

And he did a great job. As he gets around the country now -- and he had a good pick with Paul Ryan -- so as he gets around the country, people like him. They are getting to know him. But you know what it always comes down to? When you go to the polls in November, who will help me either keep my job or get a job? It will not be likability. It will be jobs, jobs, jobs.

CAVUTO: We will watch closely, Governor, and look forward to seeing you next week.

In the meantime, be well sir, Governor Rick Scott.

SCOTT: All right. Be careful.

CAVUTO: All right.

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