ORLANDO — Florida Gov. Rick Scott did not rule out a 2018 Senate bid during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
Scott during a news conference hours earlier told reporters that running for Senate this cycle is "an option," while steering questions about his future plans what he wants to accomplish as governor under President-elect Trump.
Given time to clean up his answer and address the chatter in the media about 2018 in a subsequent interview, Scott declined to tamp down the speculation. Republicans are bullish on the midterms, especially following Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.
"So, I'm focused on this job. I've got 783 days, I think, left, and I'm doing this job," Scott told the Examiner, as a part of an interview for the "Examining Politics" podcast. "We've been adding about 20,000 jobs a month, I want to keep that up, we're No. 1 in the country. As far as job growth rate I want to keep that up."
"I've got some goals on education, I want to continue that," Scott continued. "So, [those are] my two biggest priorities — I want to keep people safe, I'm going to keep focusing on this."
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, is up for re-election here in two years. Scott was in Orlando, near Disneyworld, for a regular meeting of the Republican Governors Association.
Scott endorsed Trump relatively early in the Republican primary and considers the president-elect a friend. The governor ran a pro-Trump super PAC during the general election that he seeded with a donation from his personal fortune.
What the two have in common is that both went from the business world directly to politics, with no electoral experience in between. Scott was hesitant to give Trump advice, at least publicly.
But he suggested that Trump could find clues to running a successful administration in his own his transition to the governor's mansion.
"What I would advise everybody that that runs, this has been my experience, is do what you said you're going to do and focus on it — don't get distracted. No. 2, you've got to surround yourself with people that believe in your mission."
"And, it's hard," Scott added. "You walk in like I did, I didn't know anybody in government, I had never lobbied really … I had taken my civics class but the day-to-day I'd never done any of this stuff. But it's like business, surround yourself with really good people that believe in what you're doing."
Scott indicated that he has no desire to be a member of Trump's Cabinet. The full Examiner interview with Scott will air Thursday on "Examining Politics."