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Florida's economy, plodding back from the abyss, has boasted a falling unemployment rate for the past 11 months, something that Gov. Rick Scott is rather proud of. But Mitt Romney reportedly really wishes his fellow Republican would just shut up about it.
A pair of unnamed sources (who are "familiar with the matter") tell Bloomberg that Romney's camp is afraid that Scott's celebratory emails and tweets undercut his campaign's portrait of President Obama as a job-killer. As a result, the sources say, Romney's team has asked the Florida governor to change his tune and instead say that the state's job jobless rate would be improving faster if Romney were in the White House.
When asked for comment about the report by the Hill, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul dismissed it, saying that her boss "frequently praises" state governors "for their ability to overcome the job-stifling policies of the Obama Administration."
But PBS NewsHour explains that, regardless, Florida's economic success highlights a point of tension between national and state Republican campaigns this election season: How can Republican governors campaign on their economic improvement record while Romney campaigns on the idea that Obama has made growth impossible?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker nodded to the larger problem facing Romney during a sit-down with reporters last week. "If you look at Wisconsin and a lot of other key states Republican governors have put in place aggressive policies that have helped turn the economy around," the recall-surviving governor said. "So, one of the beneficiaries of that might be the president."
Romney’s allegation that Obama is bad for the economy faces other challenges. In a Bloomberg poll out Wednesday, a majority of Americans said they are better off today than they were when the president took office in 2009. Just 36 percent responded that they’re worse off now.
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Gov. Scott's press secretary emails to deny the Bloomberg report. "While it’s nice to have even Democrats and President Obama’s campaign pushing a story acknowledging the good job Governor Scott is doing in Florida, no Romney official has asked Governor Scott or staff to change our message," Lane Wright writes. "That being said, we know we have a long way to go to reach Governor Scott’s goal of 700,000 jobs in 7 years."