It wasn't exactly a proud moment for our country when then President Bill Clinton famously quipped "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is," while under sworn testimony. If you look back at that episode and cringe, you'll probably be in horror watching video of Rick Scott under deposition in which he repeatedly says things like "I'm not sure I understand what 'serious' is," "I'm not sure what a 'market' is," and then struggles to identify his own signature.
Alex Sink's campaign has dug up footage of Scott's deposition during a 1995 lawsuit against Columbia/HCA, when Scott was the company's CEO. Remember, this is a guy who wants to lead one of the biggest and most troubled states in the nation.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Of course, Sink's campaign chose the most cring-worthy bits, but a St. Pete Times story on the deposition doesn't paint a more competent picture:
In a series of sworn depositions he gave in lawsuits against his former hospital company, Scott appears to be the polar opposite of the straight-talking Republican candidate for governor in his television ads.
Under oath, Scott displays a poor memory and a penchant for parsing words. He answers a lawyer's questions with questions. Smirking or shrugging his shoulders, his darting eyes survey the room in a video deposition in an antitrust case brought by Orlando Regional Healthcare System against Scott's former company Columbia/HCA.
As Columbia/HCA was and still is the biggest private for-profit health care company in America it attracted lots of lawsuits, but Scott's management didn't seem to help.
Under Scott's watch the company paid $1.7 billion in fines and civil fees to settle accusations of Medicaid and Medicare fraud, the biggest such settlement in American history. Scott was eventually ousted by the company's board of directors in 1997.