UPDATED: Gov. Rick Scott's answers are posted below.
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott is once again taking his re-election pitch to what he hopes will be the friendly confines of the web that is world wide.
The Republican governor is taking questions on Facebook tonight from Jacksonville here: https://www.facebook.com/scottforflorida
"Good evening, I’m here to answer your questions about Florida’s future, jobs creation, tax cuts, and anything else you’d like to ask! Please post your questions below and I’ll get to as many as I can," Scott's Facebook account said.
This is the second campaign-related Facebook session. Scott did one for about half an hour after his "State of the State" speech to the Legislature in March.
Scott has used social media many times to bypass the media, although Democrats have used the tactic in the past to try and lob nasty questions his way. The last time the governor hosted a Facebook Q&A, he answered some softballs from supporters and dodged most of the harder-edged questions.
That fits his "bridging" pattern of only answering the questions he wants to be asked. Over the last three years, the governor has routinely refused to answer reporters' questions about his policies and problems. He is hardly the only politician to do so (Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, for that matter, frequently dodges tough questions with well-timed and disarming compliments to the questioners).
But, at least, this is a chance for the general public to get a taste of the governor's disciplined style for staying on message and avoiding direct combat (A massive 'sic' for the comments below, lifted directly from the governor's Facebook site).
The first questions posted was predictably softball:
"I was wondering what your plan is to keep our 2nd amendment rights secure in the great state of Florida?" asked Kevin Hughes.
Are you against common core," Richard Stevens asked, drawing Scott's first response.
"There are two things important to me, one, high standards for Florida students are not negotiable; and two we must prevent the federal government’s overreach into our education system. Last year, I withdrew the State of Florida from the PARCC, as it had become the primary entry point for federal government intrusion," the governor wrote.
But others were more sharp-edged, or confused.
"Why did you use funding for the non citizen college tuition program but did not fund a program to expand the medicaid program for valid citizens of Florida???!!!!" one Facebooker asked.
"are you a conservative or a RINO Republican?" another asked.
Mitchell Singleton asked, "Thank you for your hard work! What did you think of Charlie Crist remark,"Give me Scott?"
Scott: "That's laughable. He has a primary and I'm sure it's going to be enjoyable watching his debates with Nan Rich."
Skip Ferianc: "Any chance Florida will get a truck assembly plant."
Scott: "I hope so. Last year, we passed a sales tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment in order to make more plants like this possible in Florida."
Dan Dupuy: "What can you do to stop Counties like Orange county from holding teachers raises hostage when the state has already provided the funding?"