Is this the best Debbie can do?
The normally redoubtable Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz published an op-ed in the Sun-Sentinel on Monday aiming to tarnish Florida Gov. Rick Scott, but really just ended up showing how truly empty the Democrats’ case against him is – particularly if Charlie Crist becomes their candidate in the fall.
First, Wasserman Schultz states the obvious – that Scott took office at a tough time in Florida. But somehow she tries to blame the condition of the state’s coffers on the man who was just sworn in (his predecessor goes unmentioned by name.)
Like most other states, Florida has to balance its budget every year, and Scott and the Republican Legislature did exactly that. Wasserman Schultz makes a big deal out of cuts to “education” – meaning teachers’ union members’ salaries – but neglects to mention that Scott’s last budget, in an improved Florida economy, included $1 billion more in education spending; that it was supported by more than 80 percent of the Democrats in the Florida Legislature; and that it got rave reviews from Florida Education Association President Andy Ford.
In other words, Scott and the Republican Legislature cut spending in the state budget in tough times and restored it when times improved. That’s called responsible governing, something Wasserman Schultz’s party and president have repeatedly demonstrated they are incapable of – particularly in Washington during the disastrous two years of 2008-10.
Wasserman Schultz also attacks Scott for not living up to the expectations of “reporters and analysts” that he would try to change his public image, or as the congresswoman puts it “sugarcoat his record.”
Pretending Scott’s aims can be set by the Florida media, then blaming him for failing to meet those expectations, is a sucker’s game. Florida’s major media is almost universally hostile to Scott and barely hides its cheerleading for Charlie. DWS and anyone who can read knows it.
Scott’s campaign theme isn’t “sugarcoating the record” and it the governor’s news releases don’t talk about changing perceptions. They talk about how Scott’s administration is building a business climate that’s seen the state’s unemployment rate drop from 11.4 in percent in 2011 to 6.7 percent in October, below the national average.
The campaign is themed “it’s working,” because it is.
Wasserman Schultz tries to pan Scott for opposing the Obamacare law, when anyone with a television or a computer knows that Obamacare is wreaking new havoc on both the economy and everyday Americans on a daily basis. Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, is still predicting Democrats are going to run on Obamacare in 2014, and Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure that prediction comes true.
Particularly rich is her attack on Scott for banning Obamacare navigators from “state health facilitities.” The navigators, she writes, are “specially trained to help people sign up for health care.”
On Monday, the same day Wasserman Shultz’s piece appeared, the U.S. House Oversight Committee released a damning report documenting how these specially trained navigators had been careless in safeguarding sensitive personal information and had “encouraged consumers to commit tax fraud by underreporting income in order to qualify for ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies.”
You can find the report here. But the gist of it is in the title: “Risks of Fraud and Misinformation with ObamaCare Outreach Campaign: How Navigator and Assister Program Mismanagement Endangers Consumers.”
Specially trained, congresswoman?
Trained by whom? ACORN?
Best of all was DWS accusing Scott of “abandoning his responsibilities in Tallahassee” to go on “long trips to Paris and Chile.” Scott did to go Chile and Paris, of course, to bring new companies, new business and new jobs to Florida for Floridians.
There was one governor who made national news in recent years by abandoning his responsibilities in Tallahassee, but his name wasn’t Scott and he wasn’t trying to get to Paris.
It was Charlie Crist and he was trying to get to Washington – for Charlie Crist.
Is this really the best Debbie can do?