Tonight I have the opportunity to address the outstanding leaders of our party at the RPOF Statesman’s Dinner. In case you are unable to attend, I want to share with you my prepared remarks on his momentous occasion. I am grateful for this opportunity to share my vision for Florida.
Prepared Remarks for the Statesman’s Dinner
Thank you for the warm reception! First I would like to introduce my wife, Ann, my daughter, Allison and her husband Pierre.
I also want to take a moment to introduce you to someone many of you already know – my running mate, State Representative Jennifer Carroll and her husband, Nolan.
Jennifer is smart, disciplined and willing to work hard, just as I will, to turn our state around.
It is a pleasure to be here tonight with the people who make the Florida Republican Party strong and successful.
The real key to our party’s success is NOT our candidates or our elected officials.
The key is grassroots Republicans, and the IDEAS and principles we as Republicans all hold dear.
It’s IDEAS that win elections. And our hard-working, grassroots Republicans – the people in this very room…
Are the ones who carry those ideas forward and who will help us implement those ideas and turn Florida around.
Floridians of every age and every walk of life take time from their busy lives to give energy and talent and resources to help our party.
So from the bottom of my heart…
THANK YOU for building a strong foundation for the Republican Party of Florida.
Like many primaries, ours was hard fought. Now that it’s over, I am focused not only on the Governor’s race, but also on making sure Marco Rubio, Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater, Adam Putnam and all Republican candidates get elected.
Our Party is blessed with fierce competitors willing to fight long and hard for Republican values and a chance to serve our state.
We are a party that believes in and CHAMPIONS competition in the free market, and I believe competition challenges us and makes us stronger as a party.
I deeply appreciate all the leaders of our party who have come forward to give me their support.
I’ll keep working every day to earn the vote of every Republican and every single Floridian.
It is now time to make sure every Floridian knows the Republican Party and Republican candidates stand for personal freedom, fiscal responsibility and building private sector jobs.
It is now time to focus all our energy and all our resources to ensure every Floridian knows that our real opponents are liberals who think more government involvement in our lives is the answer to our problems.
Liberals think competition is a bad thing. Liberals think the government can pick winners and losers.
As I travel our state I talk to countless Floridians who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, and lost hope.
The Obama liberals have not and cannot lead us to better times.
Their policies destroy private sector jobs and stifle free markets with the heavy hand of big government, with MORE taxes…
MORE judicial activism…
And LESS personal freedom…
And here at home , there are lots of Democrats who are unabashed Obama liberals with the same big government, high tax policies as the President himself – Obama liberals who believe big government is the answer.
But the ones that are most dangerous are the Obama Liberals who try and hide it…
like Alex Sink.
Make NO mistake about it…Alex Sink is an Obama liberal—and now she’s trying to hide it from the voters of Florida.
She supports the President’s Health Care reform plan. A plan that is terrible for patients because it puts bureaucrats in charge of our health care decisions, and it will raise taxes and cut Medicare benefits.
Alex Sink supported Obamacare, but now she’s trying to hide it.
She supported Obama’s massive Stimulus bill which created more debt and more government, and yielded few jobs – but now Alex Sink pretends like she never heard of it.
Alex Sink is walking in lock-step with Barack Obama as he works against Arizona’s efforts to deal with the illegal immigration problem.
Let me read you a quote that will tell you all you need to know about Alex Sink and Barack Obama…
Alex Sink said,
“Barack Obama has the RIGHT message and the RIGHT solutions for turning our economy around right here in Florida.”
Let me repeat that. This is the world according to Alex Sink: “Barack Obama has the RIGHT message and the RIGHT solutions for turning our economy around right here in Florida.”
The right SOLUTIONS???
Only an Obama Liberal could defend his failed policies that strongly.
My fellow Republicans, Alex Sink IS an Obama Liberal.
But not only does she desperately want to hide that she IS an Obama liberal, she’s also trying to hide her record for the past 4 years as the Chief Financial Officer of this state. We’re not going to let her get away with that.
We’ve set up a website to document all of her liberal stances. I invite you to check it out at www.alexsinkingflorida.com
We built that website because a lot of people don’t have any idea what Alex Sink has accomplished over the last four years other than falling asleep at the wheel while she’s supposed to be in charge of watching and protecting our money.
Alex Sink talks about accountability now that our state is facing serious financial problems, but as the state’s Chief Financial Officer, where has she been the last four years?
Alex Sink likes to TALK about ways to save money. Talk is cheap. WHERE has she been the LAST…FOUR…YEARS?
Unlike Alex Sink, we cannot embrace liberal, big government policies and we cannot let our guard down. If we don’t GUARD the American dream, we will GUT the American dream. All it takes to gut the American dream is complacency and over-reliance on government.
But all that is required to GUARD the American dream – to live it – is a little hard work.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Each generation goes further than the generation before it because we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors. We will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”
We Republicans love Ronald Reagan because even in the face of a bleak economy, he was an eternal optimist who believed that the power and greatness of the American spirit would see it through the toughest times.
And we’re facing some very tough times right now. But it’s nothing we can’t overcome by simply rolling up our sleeves and getting to work to protect the American dream…
For me the American dream is very personal.
I started school living in public housing. I grew up as the adopted son of a truck driver with a 6th grade education.
While my parents worked hard, there were five kids and NEVER enough money.
When I hear about Florida families suffering from unemployment, I know EXACTLY HOW THEY FEEL.
Because every year by Thanksgiving, my Dad was laid off.
In those days, truckers had to get the stores stocked for Christmas before Thanksgiving. There was no next day delivery like Fed Ex or UPS.
Once stores were stocked, the truckers were laid off generally until February or March.
So my parents were short of money every year…just in time for the holidays.
We learned to appreciate any and all Christmas gifts, even restored gifts from the firemen.
From the age of 8 or 9, I worked to help out.
I sold TV guides door-to-door, cleaned telephone booths, mowed yards, delivered newspapers for a penny a piece, worked as an 85 cents an hour fry cook and stocked shelves in a grocery store.
My mother worked all sorts of odd jobs to make ends meet, including part time work at JC Penney and she ironed clothes for others in order to buy groceries for us. I grew up in a loving home, in a Christian family that understood the importance of hard work and its relationship to success.
I was fortunate enough to find my wife Ann when we were in high school.
We have been married for 38 years and we have two wonderful daughters and two great sons-in-law.
Like my running mate, Jennifer Carroll, I too am a US Navy veteran. While Jennifer served 20 years, starting as enlisted and working her way up the officer ranks. I was an enlisted radar man on a destroyer named the USS Glover. I salute Jennifer for her honorable career of service – and that of all our veterans. Like many of you, I learned a lot in the military.
Ann and I started our education in community college, then the university and me to law school.
But my career took off when Ann and I took our life savings and went into business.
You hear politicians TALK about creating jobs
I’ve DONE it. Thousands of jobs.
We’ve put up our own money – everything we had – to start companies with no guarantee from the government of success.
You hear politicians TALK about demanding accountability
But successful businesspeople KNOW that success comes when you watch every penny and hold people accountable to get results, neither of which is easy.
I’ve DONE it. I’ve streamlined spending and I’ve balanced huge budgets, again, neither of which was easy.
I know how difficult it is to start and run a business, large or small. I’ve run a small business and I’ve also run one of the largest companies in America
I KNOW how challenging it is to compete in this global economy.
I KNOW the satisfying feeling when you follow your beliefs in starting a company and the employees take that company to a level you never dreamed of.
I can sit down across from the CEO of a company that’s located outside our state and explain FROM FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE, why they ought to move their operation to Florida. I can talk to the CEO of the world’s largest companies and explain that I have dealt with the same issues they have.
Having lived the American Dream, I am determined to protect it for our daughters, our future grandchildren and every Floridian.
How do we turn Florida around?
You run the state like like you run your household or your business.
I have a 7 step plan to create 700,000 jobs here in Florida over the next 7 years.
It’s a serious, well-thought -through plan. And I intend to carry it out. It will make Florida the best place to do business in America.
Step 1 is Accountability Budgeting…
We will require MEASURABLE results for every tax dollar spent and we will focus on growing the economy – NOT growing government
Step 2 – We will learn to live within our means like every family does. We will reduce spending, we will benchmark all government programs against similar programs in other states and countries, we will demand that welfare recipients comply with work requirements and stay drug free.
Step 3. We will freeze regulation and take a hard look at existing and proposed regulations –do they make sense? Do they serve a purpose or do they just create hidden costs for business? We will implement tort reform to stop frivolous lawsuits, we will lower workers’ compensation costs, electricity costs, health insurance costs. And the lower costs for business means more jobs—it’s that simple
Step 4 – As Governor I will be the Chief Economic Development Officer. I know how to do it. I know what it takes to attract and retain business because I have done it my entire life. In fact at one time in my career I had the honor of leading 1 out of every 450 employees in America.
Step 5. We will invest in research and technology so that we have world class universities that team up with the private sector to build great companies.
Step 6. We will reduce property taxes while protecting school spending. Homeowners are underwater. Most need help and not just a bandaid for a small group but relief for all that is why I will cut the state portion of the property tax by 19 percent
Step 7 We will phase out the business tax so that Florida can compete globally.
So there’s the plan – 7 Commonsense steps that can put Florida on the road to a bright future.
When I am Governor, people who are thinking about doing business in the United States, the FIRST PLACE they will think about will be Florida because they have a governor and a Lieutenant governor, and a government who are focused on the success of businesses that will bring jobs to our state.
We can save $7 Billion a year
We can have 700,000 new jobs
But it will take leadership…
It will take courage to make the tough choices.
It will take someone to stand firm against every bad idea that comes out of the Obama Administration.
That’s something I have some practice doing.
When Obama attacked Arizona for enforcing the rule of law on illegal immigration, I spoke out clearly.
When ObamaCare first raised its ugly head,
I knew it would be terrible for patients and catastrophic for our nation’s financial future.
I formed Conservatives For Patients’ Rights, put together the financial resources, spoke in television ads, traveled the country speaking to freedom loving groups
My fight led Obama’s spokesman to publicly attack me by name.
Frankly, I consider it a real badge of honor to have had President Obama’s press secretary complain about me in 2 press conferences.
We defeated the very worst idea—the public option, which was the liberal’s lynchpin to a complete government takeover of YOUR health care.
As Governor of Florida, I’ll continue to fight Obamacare, and I will stand up for ALL our rights as Floridians.
If you’ll support me now, and then WORK with me in the years ahead, I promise you this:
I’ll take all I’ve learned in over 35 years in business,
I’ll work as hard as I can, holding true to our principles,
And we’ll make Florida a model for our nation in the use of common sense, in job creation and the careful management of every tax dollar.
I need your help.
United, we cannot be beaten.
With Marco Rubio in Washington and principled Republicans all the way up and down the ticket serving in Tallahassee, We can turn this state around.
Let’s Get to Work!