Editorials

Non-answer about Muslims was pure Gov. Scott

Gov. Rick Scott stuck to his script about creating jobs on ‘Morning Joe.”
Gov. Rick Scott stuck to his script about creating jobs on ‘Morning Joe.” YouTube

Even former Texas Gov. Rick Perry could have answered the question. During a debate, he only forgot the third federal department he would whack if elected president back in 2012.

But we have the other Gov. Rick — Scott. Ask Gov. Scott about his grandkids, and you’ll get an earful. Ask him if he believes that Muslims and the religion of Islam hate America, and you get an awkward pause, a icy-cold smile and anything but a direct answer.

As he was reminded by skeptical Mika Brzezinski, that it was a yes or no question, one asked first, repeatedly, by Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough on Thursday: “Would you tell your friend Donald Trump that he should walk back his statements that Muslims, that Islam, hates America? Do you think Muslims in the state of Florida hate America?”

Was it a gotcha question? Not quite, the conversation had taken a political turn. But Mr. Scarborough’s persistence only revealed what Floridians know all too well about their chief executive:

Gov. Scott never goes off script when the media confront him. Never. So no one on the left-leaning MSNBC program should have been surprised, though the hosts did seem stunned, especially when the governor contorted the question back to his favorite topic — jobs.

But if addressing Donald Trump’s debate comments about Muslims was not in Mr. Scott’s talking points — and they most assuredly were not — the governor was true to his nature. He stared straight ahead and pushed on with what is in his script.

He might have looked robotic to the national media, and his performance likely made Floridians wince in embarrassment, especially when he had a chance to disavow intolerance to a national audience. But, hey, that’s just the way Florida’s Gov. Rick rolls, unfortunately.

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