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Entries in Florida (118)

Monday
Nov052012

Romney Urges Every Eligible Voter to Head to Polls in Final Florida Rally

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(SANFORD, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney began his final day of campaigning in the Sunshine State by telling voters in Sanford, Fla., that Tuesday will be a turning point in U.S. history and urging them to head to the polls.

“Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow,” Romney said, speaking at his first of five rallies Monday.  “Tomorrow, we begin a better tomorrow.  This nation is going to begin to change for the better tomorrow.  Your work is making a difference.  The people of the world are watching."

“The people of America are watching.  We can begin a better tomorrow tomorrow, and with the help of the people in Florida, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” he said.

Early voting has been underway in Florida for several weeks now; a good portion of the crowd raised their hands when asked how many had already voted.  But recent polls show Romney and President Obama in a statistical dead heat in the state, one that the president carried in 2008.

Romney made mention of the need for every eligible voter to cast their ballot before polls close Tuesday evening.

“Look, we have one job left and that’s to make sure that on Election Day we get, make certain that everybody who’s qualified to vote gets out to vote.  We need every single vote in Florida,” he said, interrupted with cheers of “one more day!” and “45! 45!” a reference to his being the 45th president, if elected.

Romney heads next to Virginia for two rallies, then stops in Columbus, Ohio, before heading to New Hampshire for a midnight rally.  His wife, Ann, will meet him for his final three stops.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov042012

Paul Ryan Says ‘Florida is Everything,’ Adopts Romney Habit of Age Guessing

Scott Legato/Getty Images(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) -- Paul Ryan wrapped up a marathon four-stop, five-state day at an outdoor rally at the Panama City marina Saturday acknowledging to the crowd that “Florida is everything.”

“Mitt Romney and I can handle whatever they are going to throw at us for the next three days, but this country cannot handle another four more years of this administration. We are asking for your help, we are asking for your support,” Ryan said to a crowd of about 2,000 people. “Florida is key. You know that. Florida is everything.”

As the hours tick down to Tuesday, Ryan even adopted a habit of his running mate’s: guessing supporters’ ages on the trail. Saturday evening as the sun set on St. Andrews Bay, it was a small child who got the attention as Ryan was talking about the “moral obligation” of getting the national debt down for a younger generation.

“Janna and I, our kids are seven, nine and ten,” Ryan said, before pointing to a younger member of the audience.  “This guy is five.”

Ryan started laughing and said, “Hey it was a guess!”

Two new polls out from the Sunshine State show quite different results for the two tickets.  A Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon poll out Friday shows Romney up here by six percentage points, 51 percent to 45 percent support for the president. However, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll from Saturday shows Obama up by two percentage points, within the poll’s margin of error with Obama at 49 percent and Romney with 47 percent.

The whirlwind sprint for Ryan to give his closing pitch continues Sunday with another five state day including Wisconsin,  must-win Ohio, expanding-the-map Minnesota, as well as Colorado, before he ends in Nevada.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov022012

South Florida Voters Waiting Four Hours to Vote Early

Comstock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Voters in some parts of Florida are waiting as long as four hours to cast their ballots before early voting ends Saturday night.

The Miami-Dade County Election Department was reporting early voting wait times in excess of one hour at all 20 of its polling locations. At two locations – the Election Department main office and the North Dade Regional Library – officials were reporting wait times of four hours.

The ballot in Miami-Dade County is five pages long, front and back, with an estimated completion time of as long as 30 minutes.

Farther north, in the Tampa Bay area, election officials were reporting shorter wait times at most polling sites, with only a handful exceeding 45 minutes.

When asked about how waiting voters were reacting to the lines in Hillsborough County, Travis Abercrombie, the public information coordinator for the Hillsborough County Elections Office, said they have “the patience of Job.”

The early voting window was reduced by Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott from 14 to 8 days, or from 120 to 96 hours.

The large turnout in some South Florida counties prompted some groups, including the League of Women Voters and the Florida Democratic Party, to call on Scott to extend voting hours, as then-Gov. Charlie Crist did in 2008. But Scott declined, telling reporters at a fundraiser in Newberry, Fla., that early voting would end Saturday night, as scheduled.

“Once again, Rick Scott has sided against the people of Florida,” said Scott Arceneaux,  executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.  "In rejecting calls for an extension of early voting hours, Scott has failed in his constitutionally obligated duty, broken with the history of past Republican governors and reminded Florida voters why they continue to hold a negative opinion of this governor. The people of Florida will not forget his failure to stand up for their right to vote.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct312012

Romney Trades Barbs for Optimism in First Speech Since Sandy

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- As President Obama headed to storm-ravaged New Jersey for a tour with Gov. Chris Christie, Mitt Romney was back on the stump in Florida Wednesday for his first full day of campaigning since Hurricane Sandy devastated areas of the East Coast.

Romney maintained a more subdued tone in Tampa, Fla., trading harsh attacks on Obama’s tenure for a more positive set of remarks then one might be expect just days before election day.

“We come together in times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and in many cases, personal loss,” said Romney, opening his remarks in Tampa by encouraging Red Cross donations for storm relief efforts.  Romney was joined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, who also made mention of Sandy and encouraged donations.

“Now people coming together is what’s also going to happen, I believe on Nov. 7,” Romney continued.  “I know that we have differing viewpoints with regards to the campaigns.  Up until that point -- when we get to vote on Nov. 6 and on Nov. 6, you’re going to see us describe our respective visions for the country.”

“Mine is pretty straight forward, and that is I believe that this is the time for America to take a different course, that this should be a turning point for our country,” he said.

“I will bring real change and real reform and a presidency that brings us together,” he said.

But noticeably missing in Romney’s speech were some of his most frequently used outright attack lines -- ones that suggest Obama is “out of ideas” or the others that say Obama’s a “nice guy” but doesn’t know how to run an economy.  Gone was his riff on Obama’s campaign focusing on the “small things,” such as Big Bird and their invention of the term “Romnesia.”

The GOP candidate made only a fleeting reference to his challenger’s leadership style, saying, “Now, I don’t just talk about change; I actually have a plan to execute change and to make it happen!”

Romney instead sought to emphasize his own optimism about the country, rather than his perceived downfalls of Obama.

“You should know I could not be in this race if I were not an optimist,” said Romney.  “I believe in the future of this country I know we have huge challenges, but I’m not frightened by them, I’m invigorated by the challenge.  We’re going to take on these challenges we’re going to overcome them!”

Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden said that the decision came for Romney to deliver a more subdued speech because they wanted to keep a “positive tone.”

“He also wanted to make sure because there are some people are still feeling the effects of the storm that he also recognized that and spoke to that and reminded people that there are ways they can contribute to the relief effort still through donations to the Red Cross,” said Madden.  “Our focus today is going to continue to be to strike a positive tone, about what the Governor would do on Day One of a Romney presidency.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct292012

Ryan Cancels Events, Tells Florida Voters to Keep Their Northern Neighbors in Their Prayers

Steve Pope/Getty Images(FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla.) -- At his only event of the day Monday after the other two were canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, Paul Ryan began his rally in this storm-prone state asking the crowd of about 2,000 to send their, “prayers and our thoughts to the people in the Northeast.” Wearing his red North Face jacket on a windy day, Ryan said, “Look, Floridians, you are no stranger to big storms. You know better than anyone on the need for communities to come together and for neighbors to help one another.”

Ryan was introduced by former congressman and current Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, and the GOP vice presidential nominee noted Putnam told him how this state is already helping those currently feeling Sandy’s wrath. “As we were driving over here, Adam was telling me about the hundreds of Floridians, about the hundreds of utilities crews that left just today from Florida to go to the Northeast,” Ryan said. “Thank God for men and women like that. Thank you for sending your people. That’s what we do for each other in this country.”

Five of Ryan’s events have been canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, two in Florida on Monday and three in Colorado on Tuesday. In total between Ryan, Romney, and Ann Romney the campaign has been forced to scrap 15 events, not just because some were in areas that are affected, but to be cautious not to look too political when millions of Americans are in the dangerous storm’s path up and down the Eastern seaboard.

The president was also forced to cancel events, returning to Washington DC earlier Monday instead of campaigning in Florida. Between the two campaigns, 32 events were either changed or canceled in total.

Instead of campaigning Monday and Tuesday, Ryan will travel home to Janesville, Wis. Monday afternoon.

As his running mate did earlier Monday, he urged the crowd to donate to the Red Cross asking them to, “take a look at the Red Cross website” when they get home from the event.  “Think about donating to the Red Cross,” Ryan said. “We know how to help each other in this country. If you have friends and family in the path of the storm, make sure you call them. Make sure they listen to the warnings, make sure they check on their elderly neighbors.”

Ryan said he and Romney, “are staying in touch with regional leaders” impacted by the storm.

“We are offering assistance, we are collecting storm relief supplies in our field offices in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, up and down the Eastern Seaboard,” Ryan said.

Mitt Romney has been in touch with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, both Republicans and friends of Romney.

“Here at home, people are packaging supplies at our victory centers throughout Florida,” Ryan said. “Swing by, give a hand, you know firsthand what people are going to need. And so, since we all love this country, lets put our neighbors in the north in our prayers. Lets do what we need to do to help them get through…what is coming in their way -- and let's not forget the fact that this is the greatest country on the face of the earth.”

At the end of his short event he again thanked those gathered for “supporting the people in the Northeast who need our help, who need our prayers, who need our donations.”

He also reminded the audience to vote early, which began in this state two days ago, “so that you can help get people to the polls, so you can help the save your country.”

Ryan’s event wasn’t without politics though: He reminded voters in this critical battleground state that there is only eight more days until Election Day. “Mitt Romney and I can endure anything for eight more days, but we can’t take four more years,” Ryan said. “We can turn this around, we can do this, it is not too late to put our country on the right path, it is not too late to put the right reforms in place for a real recovery…in eight days each of us can look back at this moment as the time we stood, up, we fought for our country, we did what we needed to do to secure it for our current generation and our children’s generation.”

A new CNN/ORC Florida poll out Monday shows Obama and Romney within the margin of error in the Sunshine State, with Romney at 50 percent and Obama at 49.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct192012

Paul Ryan Fundraises with '47 Percent' Host

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney has been trying to distance himself from his infamous “47 percent” comments since they were leaked last month, but his ticket is not distancing itself from the man at whose home the GOP presidential nominee made those remarks.

Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., attended a fundraiser Friday evening in Boca Raton, Fla., hosted by Marc Leder, the private equity executive who hosted the $50,000-a-head dinner in May where Romney made the comments. Leder owns Sun Capital Partners and introduced Ryan to the crowd of about 130 donors.

“I’ve known Mitt Romney for a long time, but I’m really just starting to get to know Congressman Ryan -- which is good news for all of you, because I really don’t have any remarks,” Leder said, joking that those who know him well know it’s hard to get him away from a microphone.

“One other thing I’d like to say is this is, I think, my fourth or fifth one of these in the last four years,” Leder added. “And what I’ve been most impressed by is everyone’s work at the campaign. … All the volunteers, all the paid team that Mitt has put together, right to the last one, has been absolutely incredible. And among other reasons, that’s why I’m convinced Mitt and Paul are going to win this election.”

Leder – a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team also known for his wild bashes in New York’s Hamptons – and his Sun Capital partner, Rodger Krouse, were among two dozen co-hosts of the event at the posh Saint Andrews Country Club.

Last month, Romney’s comments at Leder’s home were released via a secret recording at the May dinner. He said the “47 percent” of people who don’t pay income taxes will never vote for him because they are “dependent” and “victims.”

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in the video, originally obtained by the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Romney added that he will “never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

There was no mention of the comments at Friday evening’s fundraiser, where donors paid $2,500 to attend the general reception, $10,000 for a photo with Ryan, or $25,000 for a private dinner at the home of real estate investors Mike and Irene Milin.

But Krouse did make a point to say there is no “us” and no “them,” referring to bringing together Americans from “all walks of life.”

“At our companies, the first thing we do is bring people together. … We recognize that we may be different, but if we don’t work together, we fail,” Krouse said. “To quote Mitt, we recognize that we are all children of the same God. … In my experience, people in this country from all walks of life want what’s best for America and are willing to sacrifice. There really is no ‘us,’ there really is no ‘them,’ and neither party is completely in the right.”

Krouse continued: “What Mitt has done in Massachusetts and Paul has done in Congress, they will bring people together as the next president and next vice president of the United States.”

As guests drank wine and munched on watermelon carved in the shape of the GOP’s elephant symbol, Ryan told the donors his ticket is “about growth.”

“We are about restoring the American dream of opportunity and upward mobility,” Ryan said. “And we’ve got to get off this path that we are on, which is nothing short of economic stagnation that promotes more dependency. That’s the clear choice – growth versus stagnation, dependency versus upward mobility.”

The House budget chairman also thanked the donors and explained the importance of his ticket’s ground game when it comes to getting out the vote on Nov. 6, and how their high-dollar donations help “enough people in America, in these critical states, understand that.”

“We also have a great ground game,” Ryan said. “That is what I wanted to leave with you, is. I know you’ve been to a few of these already – it makes an enormous difference because we have to have a very effective ground game to get people to the polls. There is no substitute for human-and-human interaction. There is a blizzard of TV ads – that has some effect, of course – but it is not substitute for a person picking up a phone or a person going door-to-door and talking to one of their neighbors, talking to one of their friends, talking to somebody in their community about the real choice we have in front of us, about the nature of this race and the direction of this country.”

A CNN/ORC poll out Friday had the race in Florida in a dead heat, with Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 48 percent.

Ryan spent the day campaigning in Florida, holding a roundtable on entrepreneurship in Tampa, Fla., with aspiring and established entrepreneurs. He will hold an evening joint rally with Mitt Romney in Daytona Beach, Fla. He heads to campaign in Pennsylvania and Ohio Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct192012

Joe Biden Channels Newt Gingrich to Attack Ryan’s Budget

ABC News(SUN CITY CENTER, Fla.) -- While going for the jugular on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plans, Vice President Joe Biden borrowed words from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who’d called the Wisconsin congressman’s budget proposals “right wing social engineering.”

“Now, all of a sudden, Congressman Ryan says his budget doesn’t actually cut vital programs and slow growth. …  He’s changed his whole view. …  He said, ‘I do not cut those programs, I just slow the growth of those programs,” Biden said at the Sun City Center Community Association Friday.

“Well, that’s the same budget that has already passed the House of Representatives with every Republican maybe but one or two voting for it, and the same budget that nobody accused of being a liberal -- Newt Gingrich -- called ‘right wing social engineering.’ That’s Newt Gingrich’s words, not mine. And all of a sudden, that’s not their budget anymore. They already passed it!”

Shortly after announcing his presidential bid in May 2011, Gingrich called Ryan’s plan for Medicare “right wing social engineering,” “too big a jump” and “radical change” in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.  "I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich later apologized, saying he used “language that was too strong” but whose “underlying principle … was right.”

Ryan defended his budget against Gingrich’s characterization at the time.  “Hardly is that social engineering and radical,” Ryan said in a radio interview. “What’s radical is kicking the can down the road, not doing anything to fix this problem and watching the whole system implode on itself.”

Since Ryan  joined the GOP ticket, Biden has used Ryan’s budgets to attack Mitt Romney.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the president said the day after the debate that Romney’s plans have become awfully sketchy. … I’m reluctant to correct the president on anything. But I would respectfully suggest they’re not sketchy, they’re Etch A Sketchy,” Biden said.  “You know those Etch A Sketch tablets that your granddaughters and grandsons have? Man, I tell you they’re shakin’ that sucker … and they’re dialing in a new sketch.”

Biden, on a two-day swing through Florida, a state he’s campaigned in eight times before and one that he predicted could solidify the election for Democrats, didn’t shy from encouraging his audience to participate in early voting.

“I want to remind you all, you don’t need reminding, but in Florida you can vote now.  Even before early voting starts on the 27th, just go to your County Supervisor of Elections and ask for an absentee ballot. Most places you can fill it out right there, and it is done.  And folks, if you look around the country, in places like Iowa, there’s early voting. I hope it keeps up, because we’re winning the early voting.

“We need you.  We need your help to win the state of Florida, and if we win the state of Florida, this election is over.  This election is done, so go out there now and vote.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

Paul Ryan Uses Bill Clinton’s Words Against His Democratic Opponents

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- Paul Ryan responded to comments President Bill Clinton made Thursday while stumping for President Barack Obama, using them as ammunition aimed right back at his Democratic opponents.

“The president and his allies have said a few revealing things lately,” Ryan said at an outdoor rally at a sports complex in Fort Myers, Fla.  “Bill Clinton said it is true that our economy is not fixed. He is right. … If the economy is not fixed, it is time we change presidents and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.”

Earlier Thursday in Cleveland, Clinton said at a rally also featuring Bruce Springsteen, “Gov. Romney’s argument is, ‘We’re not fixed, so fire him and put me in.’ It is true, we’re not fixed. … When President Obama looked into the eyes of that man who said in the debate, ‘I had so much hope four years ago and I don’t now,’ I thought he was going to cry because he knows that it’s not fixed.”

Republicans jumped on the comment, but left out the full context.

“What the American people have got to decide is whether they believe, people like who are a little bit on the outside of this, that this is the biggest economic crash since the Great Depression,” Clinton added. “It continued for a full year after the president took the oath of office. We were going downhill, he had to stop that, put a floor under it and begin the long road back.”

The Obama campaign immediately stood by the former president’s comments.

“President Clinton powerfully articulated the progress we’re making under President Obama,” Obama campaign spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement. “As President Clinton noted, we simply can’t afford to go back to the same failed policies that brought our economy to the brink of collapse in the first place -- and that’s exactly what Mitt Romney’s offering.”

Ryan also hit earlier comments by Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Republicans also have taken out of context.

“On Univision a couple weeks ago, President Obama said he ‘can’t change Washington from the inside.’ Isn’t that why we elect presidents?” Ryan asked in front of a crowd of more than 3,500. “Vice President Biden the other day said the middle class is ‘buried.’ That is one shovel-ready project that this administration can take credit for.”

Ryan was referring to a campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month. Biden stepped on his campaign message somewhat when he said the middle class was “buried” over the last four years, the time in which President Obama has been in office.

“This is deadly earnest: how they can justify … raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years,” Biden said, claiming Republicans would raise such taxes. “How in the Lord’s name can they justify raising their taxes? We’ve seen this movie before.”

Ryan referred to a Univision forum last month, where Obama said the “most important” lesson he had learned during his first term as president was, “You can’t change Washington from the inside.”

Polls are locked between Romney and Obama in Florida, a crucial swing state, and Ryan is spending two days campaigning throughout the state.

He told the supportive crowd that on Election Day, Nov. 6, it’s up to their state to make his running mate “the next president of the United States.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

Paul Ryan Courts Women After ‘Binders Full of Women’ Comment

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(OCALA, Fla.) -- The courting of female voters has intensified since Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s debate Tuesday, with the candidates pivoting to focus on women after Romney’s “binders full of women” comment, as well as some waffling by a Romney senior adviser on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was even asked about jobs for women at his town hall in Ocala, Fla., Thursday.

In a steamy town square, Ryan was asked by a female attendee if his ticket had “any plan in place for jobs specifically for women.”

He immediately answered much as his running mate has in the past: “Get the economy growing, number one.”

Tuesday night, Romney was asked about equal pay for women. He answered that when he became the governor of Massachusetts he got “binders full of women” when he made a “concerted effort” to find qualified women for his cabinet. The comment quickly became an Internet joke, and also has put the GOP ticket in a corner, trying to persuade women a Romney administration would serve their interests best.  The Republicans have been hammered by both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the campaign trail about the comment. Ryan even mentioned his ticket’s support for women Wednesday when he stumped with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In Ocala, Ryan blasted the president on both the stimulus and funds that have gone to green energy. Then he said, “Over five million women have just left the workforce. Fewer women are working today than when (Obama) took office. And so of the people who have been hit the hardest, it’s women.”

Ryan then talked about job skills and training and how that can help women seeking employment.

“Now, what we need is a growing economy that gives people more flexibility in their schedules, what we need is the ability to get people -- we have point two of our five-point plan is our jobs training benefits,” Ryan said, adding that states should customize their own job training programs “to meet the unique needs of women.”

“What so many women need is the ability to have flexibility,” Ryan said. “Especially if you’re women with children, you want to have flexibility to have the kind of a job that gives you the ability to meet all of your needs and your family. That’s what job training skills are all about, that’s what growth is all about.”

Ryan said, “Most women get their jobs from successful small businesses,” and promised a Romney-Ryan administration would help grow those businesses, which he said are more flexible about many women’s schedules.

“We’ve got to champion small businesses which are the kinds of companies that have flexible job schedules that women can get easily back in to the workforce. Most people don’t get their jobs from the really big corporations, they get their jobs from successful small businesses,” Ryan said. “And of all the things we can do to get women back into the workforce, get them the skills they need, get an economy, and help those small businesses bring them back into the workforce so they can provide for themselves and their families.”

Ryan never mentioned pay equity; the questioner in Ocala did not either. However, after the debate, the Romney campaign also wavered on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with Romney adviser Ed Gillespie first telling reporters after the debate Romney “was opposed to” the proposed legislation “at the time,” but would not repeal it once in office. The next day Gillespie said he was wrong, and Romney “never weighed in on it,” and if Romney became president he would not repeal it. In Congress, Ryan voted against the Ledbetter Act.

On Thursday, Ryan said his job in the House of Representatives has “always been to listen to our employers.”

“Mitt Romney and I are applying for a job,” Ryan said. “You are our employers. We the people run the government not the other way around. The government works for the people. The government doesn’t run the people.”

Polls in Florida have Obama and Romney in a dead heat in the crucial state. It’s why Ryan is spending two days there, much of it on the critical I-4 corridor across the middle of the state. On Thursday, Ryan held a fundraiser and campaign event in the Ft. Myers area; he also reached out to Iowa voters, holding a tele-town hall with them in the afternoon. He will continue to campaign in Florida Friday, including a joint event with his running mate in Daytona Beach.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct102012

Florida Gov. Scott Accidentally Cites Phone-Sex Hotline in Meeting

Office of the Governor, Florida(TAMPA, Fla.) -- An honest mistake led to a racy recording after Florida Gov. Rick Scott misread the toll-free number for his state’s Health Department during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, rattling off the digits for a phone-sex hotline instead.

Scott was giving an update on the fungal meningitis outbreak spreading to Florida this week when he mixed up the last four digits of the phone number that the state has set up for constituents to call with information about the deadly outbreak. State officials confirmed this week that the outbreak had spread to Florida after a 70-year-old man was killed by steroid medication contaminated by the fungus.

“You can call the Department of Health’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline set up for this,” Scott said Tuesday before citing an 866 number that, according to Tampa radio station WUSF, connects to an adult-entertainment recording.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a recorded female voice says on the phone-sex hotline.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, said Scott “inadvertently gave the wrong number,” but corrected himself and cited the correct hotline number later in the cabinet meeting.

The number for the Florida Health Department’s meningitis hotline is (866) 523-7339.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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