Governor Rick Scott seeks to improve job growth and approval ratings in Florida

He tells Texas: bring it on!

(CNN) -- Gov. Rick Scott in Florida has a message for his counterpart in Texas: Bring it on.

The first term governor, who's struggling with low approval ratings, said Wednesday he wants Florida-not the Lone Star State--to become the state known for job growth. And as he approaches re-election next year, Scott is staying focused the economy.

"Gov. (Rick) Perry's always bragging about how great Texas is, well look, 230,000 people moved here last year," Scott said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

During Perry's campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the Texas governor often pointed to his state's ability to largely weather the nation's economic downturn in the previous few years. He's also known for traveling to other states to lure businesses to Texas because of its emphasis on low taxes.

Scott, however, argued Florida is becoming the new haven for job growth.

Pointing to the decrease in unemployment since he took office in January 2011, Scott said Florida is "going to become better braggers than Texas about how we're getting more jobs."

The unemployment level in Florida has dropped from 10.9% to 7.8%, as of January. At the same time, the national jobless rate also fell from 9.1% to 7.9%. It now stands at 7.7% as of February.

"We've turned our economy around," Scott said. "There's a stunning contrast to the four years before I became governor. It's jobs, jobs, jobs."

According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 250,000 jobs have been created since Scott became governor-including about 127,000 jobs in the last year. Industries that have especially seen strong growth included construction and hospitality.

Texas, meanwhile, added about 310,000 jobs in the last year, and California added about 250,000--though both states have higher populations than Florida.

When Scott campaigned for governor in 2010, he ran on a platform of jobs and promised to create 700,000 jobs in seven years. Economic forecasts already predicted that a million jobs would be added during that same time period.

As of last month, there are 290,000 job openings in the state, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. "You'll love it," Scott said on the show, making a plea for viewers to move to the Sunshine State. "We have better weather."

Despite the positive economic numbers, Scott's approval ratings have been less than desirable. And while he hasn't announced that he's running for a second term, a group supportive of Scott launched a new web ad this week that could potentially turn into an election ad.

His approval rating, however, hasn't topped 41% since May 2011, according to Quinnipiac University polls. His most recent number was 36% in a survey released March 20.

The same survey indicated that only 32% of voters believe Scott deserves re-election. And former Gov. Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican but is now a Democrat, would topple Scott in a hypothetical gubernatorial matchup, 50%-34%, according to the poll.

Asked about the potential competition from Crist on Wednesday, Scott again pivoted to jobs.

"The election is not today, it's November 2014," he said. "And the real poll that matters is the third Friday of every month, it's what unemployment is."

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