Things have obviously improved, but nobody would argue that weve returned to anything close to normal, he said. How much of [the improvement] the governor can take responsibility for? I dont know.
With 29 electoral votes, Florida is considered a must-win state for Romney and, his advisors say, hes not likely to change his message.
Our message is simple: The economy is doing better because of Gov. Scott, but its not where it should be because of President Obama, said Alberto Martinez, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign in Florida. The challenges Florida faces are rooted in Washington.
Scotts popularity ratings make him unlikely to be tapped to help by the GOPs presumptive nominee, but the governors clearly not backing down his rosy outlook, either.
My job is to continue to talk about what were doing in Florida and the fact that were headed in the right direction, he told reporters on Tuesday.
He added that he could do better with a federal partner.
We are doing the right things here, Scott said. Look, were reducing taxes. Were reducing regulation. Our agencies are trying to work with businesses to get more jobs here. Now we need the federal government to do its part.
Can the two views under one tent hurt Romney?
Brad Coker, a pollster with Mason-Dixon Research, believes it already is.
Rick Scott is out there promoting Rick Scott. That not only is undercutting Mitt Romney, it may be hurting Connie Mack, he said, referring to the Republican front-runner in the U.S. Senate race.
I know the governors ratings have been low and hes trying to do things to improve them, he said. But hes not up for reelection until 2014, and theres no reason in the world why he cant wait until the day after the election to start running that stuff.
Romneys campaign and state Republican officials both say they have a good relationship with the governor and have no intention of telling him to modify his message.
Hes trying to tout the positive, and its his call, said Jeff Bechdel, spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida. Were certainly not telling him what he should say.
Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown, whose latest survey found that 52 percent of Florida voters disapprove of the job Scott is doing, said that with the onslaught of television ads, most people arent paying attention to the governors message on the economy. A review by National Journal found an eye-popping $58 million spent on presidential TV spending in Florida since May 1.
Scotts pretty much not part of the discussion not through any part of his own, Brown said. This is a presidential campaign, and hes not running for president. He added, however, that like other governors in swing states, the governor could just let the economic data speak for itself and stay out of the debate.
You dont need to tell people things are better if theyre better, Brown said. He noted that Ohio Gov. John Kasichs job-approval numbers used to be as bad as Scotts, but the economy has improved in that state and his numbers have followed.
The story isnt about the governor even in his own state, Brown said. The story is about the president.
Jack from Bradenton seems to agree. In an email written to Scott recently and posted on the governors Sunburst email site, he urged the governor to stop saying you have made things better here in Florida. You are making it hard for Romney, he wrote. So just keep your mouth shut.