KING: That was a minute and five seconds. Mr. Scott, take the same.
SCOTT: All right. I dealt with the same sort of issue back in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit. I had a lot of hospitals down in Miami, and I was down there right after the hurricane hit. We had to completely evacuate one hospital, which was basically demolished.
And I showed up, we had over 500 employees without homes. We had 154 patients in the hospital. I got nurses from the west coast of Florida over there within eight or nine hours, and I reopened two hospitals, and I stayed down there until it was solved. We did a fundraiser for all of our employees to make sure that they had the money to get back into their homes. That’s what you do.
What they should — what Governor Crist and my opponent should have been doing down there, they should have stayed down there until the problem was solved. They should have been talking to all those local businesses. I’ve been down there.
And also explain that, you know, the beaches were basically open. I mean, we should — we should have been down there when they had all that possibility to be on national TV to say, look, the oil spill is not here.
Part of the reason we hurt our tourism is the fact that, you know, we played the game, that oh, poor me. There’s problems down here. When the truth is, our beaches were pretty much spotless.
SMITH: — much of an environmentally plan. Essentially, watered-down growth management and you want to be receptive to drilling. What would you tell people, Florida has a long story of being environmentalist?
SCOTT: Absolutely. You know, we all live — you know, we all live here because we love this environment. You know, we love the weather, we love the beaches, we love the Everglades, we love our lakes and rivers. And so, what we got to do is make sure we do everything we can, possibly can, to make sure we continue that. We restore the Everglades. We make sure we have the best water standards and things like that.
At the same time, we got to make sure that, right now, our biggest issue is jobs. We need jobs. And so, what you have to balance is you have to balance the need that we got to keep a pristine environment, but we can’t be raising taxes and we got – to build jobs, so I have a seven-step plan to get the state going back to work.
KING: I’m going to give you 30 seconds to respond his — what he just said about the environment, then we need to take a quick break.
SINK: OK. Thank you. Well my opponent has said that he would do away with the Department of Community Affairs. It’s the one state agency that holds local governments accountable for the dealings they have with developers. That’s why we have Amendment Four on the ballot because people were so frustrated about these out of control developments.
I oppose Amendment Four because I think it would be a job killer. But we cannot do away with our Department of Community Affairs which is the only organization that handles growth management in Florida. He would just hand Florida over to development, to just go wild and that’s not what Floridians want.
KING: I will give you a chance to respond.
KING: I will give you a chance to respond when we come back.
KING: We’re going to take another quick break. The candidates for Florida governor are debating right here. Stay with us.
KING: We’re back with the candidates for Florida governor, Republican Rick Scott, Democrat Alex Sink. We talked a bit earlier about the Arizona immigration law, and many states saying after this election they may try and copy it in their states. Another law Mr. Scott that a lot of conservatives want to copy is a new Nebraska abortion law. It essentially tries to redefine the abortion debate by saying the standard should not be viability, when the fetus can live outside the womb, but when the fetus can feel pain. The Nebraska abortion law sets that at 20 weeks. Would you support such a law and sign such a law into law here in the state of Florida?
SCOTT: Let’s go back to the last question on DCA. I have not said that I would eliminate DCA. What I would do is go back to the original purpose of DCA. My opponent is an Obama liberal. She thinks people in Tallahassee can tell local communities exactly what they ought to do. Let’s look at what’s happened across our state.
You can go all across the state and developments have been killed by all the regulation, all the paperwork. In fact you have to go to three or four agencies. I’ll give you an example. Down close where I live, Ave Maria University was recently built. Just in permits, just — not any building — just for the land, 78 permits, took years to do. DCA has killed jobs all across this state. We need to go back to the original purpose.
SCOTT: With regard to abortion, I am pro-life. I’m pro-life with the exceptions of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
KING: And would you sign a law that said the standard should be after 20 weeks, when the Nebraska law supporters say they have researched that fetus can feel the pain, would you sign that? Essentially under current law in most states it is 23 weeks or so most research shows when a fetus can live outside the womb. So it takes about three weeks to a month sliding back the line. Would you sign a law that said at 20 weeks, after 20 weeks no abortions?
KING: Would you sign that law?
SINK: No, I wouldn’t because I support the laws that we have on the books right now in Florida.
KING: And support them, that’s it, a blanket support for abortion rights or when new medical and technology advances come into play, would you look at that?
SINK: I follow the law, and I will uphold the law that we have in Florida currently, which does have restrictions, like parental notification. That’s what I support. But I have to go back and say something here about this debate tonight, because I know that our time is running short. And I don’t think that the people of Florida have really heard yet what they need to hear from me and from my opponent.
I have received the endorsement of 16 Florida newspapers. Every single newspaper that has endorsed has endorsed my candidacy, because they know that I have the character and the integrity and they also know that I have the business plan, that I’m a fiscal conservative to carry our state forward in a matter that all Floridians can be proud of. My opponent, on the other hand, has refused to appear before a single editorial board, which is the first time in the history of this state
SMITH: We have done a lot of talk about character and integrity. But we have — we’re going to have — our state is in serious financial trouble. Next year we’re going to have — we have had a Republican legislature for years. Next year it could have two very, very conservative leaders. There is not going to be sort of a moderating force, whether it was Charlie Crist or the Florida Senate. Have you seen anywhere that the Florida legislature has gone too far, too conservative in recent years, Ms. Sink?
SINK: Oh I’d be happy to respond to that. Just this year, they passed a slush fund bill to permit political slush funds and reintroduce slush funds into state government like Florida had many years ago. Governor Crist vetoed that bill, rightfully so. Maybe the best example is the Senate Bill Six that was passed. It was called a teacher pay bill, but actually if you look at the details and what the parents and the superintendents and the school board members actually knew that it was, it was a takeover by Tallahassee politicians and bureaucrats of local school making decisions. Those decisions ought to be made locally.
That was rightfully vetoed. This Senate and House should have passed ethics reforms bills. We have had so much corruption all over the state and also look at the abuses in Tallahassee, credit cards, people losing — people leaving office.