Fox & Friends loves Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott. I mean really loves him. They loved him before he was even a governor. During the midterm elections, Fox & Friends boosted his campaign, subjecting him to the tough questioning that typifies their handling of GOP candidates, like asking him how he was going to "get people to show up and do the voting" and making sure the audience knew all about his "expertise" in "hospital business." In today's equally cuddly interview, Kilmeade gushed over Scott's "success in the private industry," which means "you come out of it with not just a philosophy, but a track record."
Kilmeade was right about one thing: Scott certainly does have a "track record" in private industry. Before running for governor and fighting against affordable health care as the CEO of Conservatives for Patient's Rights, Scott was the founder of the Columbia Hospital Corporation/HCA, a huge health care network.
In 1997, law enforcement officers raided Columbia/HCA facilities, leading to the exposure of the most massive Medicare fraud in United States history at the time. Columbia/HCA was found to be defrauding the taxpayers by consistently and knowingly overcharging the government for medical services. Although Scott was never charged personally, his company paid a settlement of more than "$1.7 billion in civil and criminal penalties, by far the largest amount ever secured by federal prosecutors in a health care fraud case." After being forced to resign by the Columbia/HCA board, Scott received a golden parachute of nearly $10 million in severance and stock worth as much as $300 million.
Success! Not only did Kilmeade laud Scott's business "track record," but he and fellow apparent Scott-lover Clayton Morris just went on gushing over him. It actually got worse.
After Scott promoted his idea to put the health care of millions of Floridians in danger by changing Medicaid to a block grant system, Kilmeade said: "So the states that have to balance their budget are making the tough decisions and getting appreciation for it. Your approval ratings are up."
So just how far "up" are Scott's approval ratings? Right before winning the election, a Susquehanna poll put Scott's favorable rating at 46%. Since then, his favorable rating has gone all the way "up" to 32%. At the beginning of the year, Scott had a 35% approval rating. Since then, his approval rating has shot "up" to 28%.
Not be outdone by Kilmeade's dishonesty, guest host Clayton Morris cited Scott as an "example of why governors get elected presidents and very few senators get elected presidents." Never too late to start the Fox News Rick Scott 2012 campaign!