Gov. Scott Repsonds to Claim He Flip-Flopped on 7-7-7 Jobs Pledge

In a statement released Friday, Scott says, "Floridians will judge me not on what an economist in Tallahassee predicts, but on actual job growth each month."
TAMPA (2011-10-7) -

Governor Rick Scott is responding to claims that he has "flip-flopped" on his signature campaign issue -- creating 700,000 jobs in seven years.

Several times during the campaign, Scott said 700,000 new jobs would be created in addition to the one million jobs economists said would be created regardless of who's in office.

“Our plan is seven steps to 700,000 jobs, and that plan is on top of what normal growth would be,” Scott said during a campaign debate.

But lately, he's been saying that he only promised 700,000 jobs period -- not the 1.7 million he actually said.

In a conference call recorded by the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald, a reporter asks Scott to clarify his pledge.

“Your pledge to create new jobs was in addition to what was projected already over that seven year span, a million jobs predicted, and you were going to add 700,000 jobs to that,” the reporter says.

“No, that’s not true. No, that’s not true,” Scott answers.

PolitiFact Florida rates that as a "Full Flop" by Scott.

“It’s certainly a strange explanation from the Governor,” said PolitiFact Florida’s Aaron Sharockman. “But what we can see in the video evidence is quite stark and clear.”

In a statement released Friday, Scott says, "Floridians will judge me not on what an economist in Tallahassee predicts, but on actual job growth each month."

FULL STATEMENT FROM GOV. SCOTT BELOW

“Let me begin by saying that regardless of economic predictions that shift with the wind, my promise to create 700,000 jobs over seven years has not and will not change.

“During my campaign for Governor last year, I unveiled a plan to fix Florida’s economy and turn the state around. It was called the 7-7-7 Plan: Seven Steps to 700,000 Jobs in Seven Years. As I said during my campaign, this plan will create 700,000 jobs over seven years no matter what the economy might otherwise gain or lose.

“No one, not even economists, can predict the future. What can be verified is actual job creation data. From July to December 2010, before I was in office, Florida’s job creation numbers show that the state lost 20,100 jobs. For 3.5 years before that the state lost more than 800,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate skyrocketed hitting its peak at 12 percent in December 2010.

“Since then, we have begun implementing the 7-7-7 plan and creating an environment where jobs can grow. Sure enough, Florida has gained 87,200 private sector jobs so far this year and the unemployment rate has started going down, bucking the trend at the national level.

“Instead of focusing on hypotheticals, I’m focused on what I know will be accomplished through my 7-7-7 plan - the creation of 700,000 jobs over seven years regardless of what the economy might otherwise gain or lose. Floridians will judge me not on what an economist in Tallahassee predicts, but on actual job growth each month. Those are the numbers I will be held accountable for and that’s what I remain focused on.”

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