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Rick Scott: 'Open to Ideas' on Arming Florida's Teachers

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Newsmax, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida says he is "open to ideas" about arming Florida's public school teachers, in the wake of theSandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Asked about Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnells call for a discussion on arming school officials, Scott told Newsmax: Im always open to ideas to understand how we can reduce our crime rate. Whenever something happens, you always open your ears to listen to more things.

Scott talked about much more than school safety, however. In the course of the interview he touted Florida's dramatic drop in unemployment under his gubernatorial tenure, from 11.4 percent when he took office to 8.5 percent today.

Jobs have come back to Florida because weve lowered taxes and have less regulation, Scott tells the paper. Weve streamlined permitting --we like businesses in our state now. Consumer confidence is up. Our work force, last month, filled 45,000 jobs. Thats 45,000 more families in our state that now can put food on the table, can buy Christmas presents, can go shopping, can afford the rent or afford their home.

He continues: Tourism is up. Almost 90 million people came this year. Exports are up. New home prices are up. Home sales are up. New home constructions up. So were doing the right things and Im very optimistic that the next two years are going to be like the first two years where were going to have significant reduction in unemployment.

Scott's conclusion?

"[W]e live within our means. Weve paid down our debt. Weve done the things that we know are going to increase jobs. I just wish the federal government would do the exact same thing."

Asked about the 2016 presidential prospects of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, Scott says either of them would make for an excellent commander in chief:"Both of them would be great presidents. They care about our country. They clearly care about our state. Theyre passionate Americans concerned about your opportunity to live the American dream."

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