The Starbucks Feud Between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a Resident Continues

April 8th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

The viral feud between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Cara Jennings, a 39-year-old resident who confronted him in a Starbucks, escalated on Friday after an organization representing Scott released a video response criticizing the woman as a "latte liberal."


This woman just stood up to her governor for denying poor people health insurance.

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jennings called Scott "an asshole" while the governor waited in line at a Starbucks in Gainesville, Florida, on Tuesday in an exchange that was captured on video and became a viral hit. She complained that Scott's refusal to expand Medicaid with federal funds promised by the Affordable Care Act caused her to miss out on healthcare coverage. In fact, 800,000 low-income Floridians would've qualified for healthcare benefits if Scott had expanded the program, The Miami New Times reports.

Scott dismissed the critique at the time and argued that his policies have created a million jobs in Florida. On Friday, Scott doubled down, releasing a video by his job creation organization "Let's Get to Work" that attempted to call the woman's credibility into question and, again, emphasized the governor's job creation record.

"You may have seen this video of a terribly rude woman at a coffee shop, cursing and screaming at Governor Scott," the narrator says. "Well, that woman clearly has a problem, and it turns out that she's a former government official who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and calls herself an anarchist — but never mind about that."

The video then pivots to a conversation about the employment rate in Gainesville and the state at large. The organization behind the video claims that 9,300 jobs have been added to the Gainesville region since Scott took office, and that the city's unemployment rate was cut in half during the same time period. The narrator goes on to say that "almost everybody" has a great job in Florida, though data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the state's unemployment rate sits at five percent, about equal to the national average.

It's also important to note that the role of state governors, city mayors, and even U.S. presidents in stimulating job growth is often overstated. National economic trends and other factors such as demographic shifts are generally more influential than elected officials in this respect, and Scott happened to take office "not long after a severe recession bottomed out," PolitiFact reports.

What's more, Scott's suggestion that job creation and Medicare expansion are mutually exclusive is questionable.The market trend research group FitchRatings released a report last year that showed 30 percent greater job growth in the healthcare sector for states that accepted Medicare expansion under the Affordable Care Act than states that resisted the program's expansion.

ATTN: reached out to Gov. Rick Scott's office for comment, but a representative could not be reached by the time of publication.

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