Gov. Scott comforts victims, wants ISIS stopped
A passionate Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he met with families of victims of the Orlando nightclub mass shooting and he was touched -- and in some cases almost brought to tears -- by their stories.
"Yesterday, I spent a lot of time with families, held a mom whose son had died bleeding to death. There was a lady who explained what happened to her son, and a dad who didn’t want to talk about losing his son, but about when is this going to stop?" Scott told News4Jax in a one-on-one interview Tuesday morning. "When are we going to focus on how to destroy ISIS? I’ve talked to people at the hospital, I’m fed up with this. We lost 49 people and we have people still injured. I went to a surgery last night."
While the governor admits this is a hate crime, he said it was also driven by international terrorism and the gunman's allegiance to ISIS. Scott says the federal government needs to do more in an effort to bring the terrorist organization to its knees.
"No one would want this ever to happen to their family. I don’t want to ever have to go thru this again so our federal government needs to, they’ve got to show up, they’ve got to destroy ISIS, say it this is radical islam. This inspired this. We’ve got to stop this," Scott said.
The governor says he's had the ear of U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and even the White House, and he has let them know that he emphatically believes something needs to be done because we as a society can't and will refuse to live in fear.
"The first thing you think about is your kids," said Scott. "I have daughters, 31 and 33, they still go out and you know in this case, it was a gay nightclub. They targeted gays, they targeted Hispanics, but the truth is they targeted all of us."
I've spoken with the governor several times and have never heard the governor so frustrated.
"If we don’t stop ISIS now, when are we going to do it? Forty-nine people dead here, we have to say to ourselves, as a society, we have to stop ISIS because I don’t want another 49 people dead -- people attacked. It was an attack on all of us and I am fed up with it, said Scott.
And for Scott, this is something that's very personal. He has two children and four grandchildren and he wants them to be able to live their lives safely and happily
The governor says he is optimistic about the future of Florida and our nation and the world will be a better place for his grandchildren.
"I want them to be able to go out and enjoy life like the 320 people that went to the nightclub-they just went out to enjoy their night. These were nice people going out to enjoy their night, have fun with each other. In our country you should be able to do that and not have a risk of a radical Islamic coming and shooting you and killing you and murdering you," he said.
The governor says he is responsible for Florida's 20 million residents and 100 million visitors each year, and he will work to ensure their safety.