Followed by a small entourage of staff and a few public officials, Scott, a safe distance from the protesters and media, wandered along the St. Lucie Lock in Martin County Tuesday to see the polluted water from Lake Okeechobee flowing into the St. Lucie River.
Nearly 30 minutes later, Scott hopped back into his SUV, security running alongside, his driver taking him a short distance to a visitor center which he entered through a side door for a brief press conference.
One of the first questions came from WPTV anchor Michael Williams.
Williams: “You cannot help but hear the angry voices outside. They say it took months for you to show up here. Today the optics are really bad. You go behind a barbed wire fence, have not sat and listened the people out there and their voices. We’re in a cramped media room. Are you now going to go spend time to listen the voices of the people you represent?”
Scott: “Gosh. I’ve been governor now for a little over two years, two and a half years. I focused on water issues the entire time. I have great partners here that are focused on water issues in the state. What we did with the Everglades was historic. The funding we have for the Everglades is historic. The relationship we built by working with the Army Corps of Engineers, Justice,
(Environmental Protection Agency), Interior, the environmentalists and the agriculture community is historic. I’m going to continue to do that. I’ve been working on this project since the problem started and I’m going to continue to work on it.
I’ve worked very hard to ensure we get the right thing to happen. Today, we’re announcing that we’re going to make sure there’s another $40 million in this budget to deal with this issue as quickly as we can.”
Shortly after, Scott climbed back into the SUV and took off.
As Williams noted – the optics were really bad.