Rick Scott Refuses to Say Muslims Don't Hate America, Gets Interview Cut Off

One of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's most persistent tics is to yell, "Jobs!" over and over whenever he's pressed for an answer to a tough question. This is the same guy, after all, who once pleaded the Fifth more than 70 times in a deposition. He's an Olympic-level non-answerer, and most interviewers are too flustered to call him out on it.

Not so on Morning Joe today. Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski spent three minutes harassing Scott for a simple answer to this question: Does he agree with his buddy Donald Trump that Muslims "hate" America?

By Scott's fifth mumbled response about jobs, they simply cut his microphone and embarrassingly killed the interview.  

“That was weak sniveling political wavering,” Brzezinski later told Scarborough before joking about Scott refusing to back anyone in the Florida primary. “I doubt his endorsement would have any impact anyway. Sorry.”
In Scott's long record of awkward television appearances, this clearly ranks in the top tier. And it's more than fair for the hosts to push him for an answer to that question. 

Islam is the largest non-Christian denomination in Florida. More than 100,000 Muslims live in South Florida alone. And hundreds of thousands of adherents of Islam spend their tourism dollars in the Sunshine State every year. 

Shouldn't the governor be willing to say they don't "hate" America, as Trump claimed in a CNN interview this week? 

Instead, Scott desperately tried to avoid answering the question. It's a dodge GOP leaders have managed far too long. Now that Trump is blatantly saying what much of their base has believed for years, it'll be harder and harder for the Rick Scotts of the world to avoid answering the simple question: Do you agree with the Donald or not?
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink

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