One-on-one with Gov. Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In just two months on the job Governor Rick Scott has made some bold moves and formidable foes. Thursday the rookie governor gave NewsChannel 5's Capitol Correspondent Whitney Ray an exclusive five minute interview.

He asked the governor how his decisions have affected his relationship with the legislature.

"I know they’re just as committed as I am on education and getting the state back to work so I feel very hopeful that the right things are going to happen," the governor said.

His early days on the job haven't been without conflict. 65 days into the governor's first term he sold the state planes, declined money for high speed rail and was sued by two Senators.

Governor Scott was asked if this signifies a bumpy road through the rest of the legislative session.

"Everybody knows that I campaigned that I was going to sell the state planes. I did. That’s what I believe in and that’s what our legislature is very supportive of," the governor said.

Some lawmakers wanted to sell the planes… but say the Governor broke the law when he put them on the auction block without legislative approval.

In his state of the state address governor Scott told lawmakers to pass his budget which cuts spending and taxes by more than four billion dollars. But lawmakers have their own plans.

The governor was asked: "If the legislature doesn't give you close to what you ask for, are you prepared to veto that and call them back for a special session?"

He replied, "I'm very comfortable with that, but they're committed to the same thing I am."

Governor Scott stayed positive and on message during the interview. When we asked about his recent victory against two lawmakers who sued him for turning down high speed rail money, the governor said, "That was a fun day."

Scott's victory in the state's highest court hasn't won him a lot of friends in the state legislature, and in fact, a ridership report released Wednesday shows that high speed rail would have been profitable.

The Department of Transportation study predicted a 10 million dollar surplus in the first year...and 30 million annually after a decade.

Governor Scott admits he’s not afraid to make the tough choices that irk his critics. "My job is to make this state the most likely to succeed.”

The next two months will be the filled with conflict but maybe not compromise from the governor.

The governor was also asked if he has any White House plans in his future. Scott smiled… and said he’s focused on being governor.
 

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