If Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) wants to defend the merit of his state’s welfare drug testing law, this might not be the best way to do it.
On CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday morning, Scott posed a hypothetical scenario, where he thinks welfare benefits can be fairly handed out. If “there are two parents, one uses drugs, one doesn’t, you can go give the money to the one who doesn’t use drugs,” Scott said.
While it’s unclear whether Scott is talking about two parents of one family, it does seem a fairly weak defense of the law. But Scott insists the “public gets it.” He said during a speech in Miami, the audience basically gave him a standing ovation when he mentioned the drug-testing law.
And maybe he’s right. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 71 percent of Florida voters support the law.
But the data prove welfare applicants aren’t really using drugs. Early results of the drug tests show that only about 2 percent of applicants are testing positive.
Scott says that number is “off a little bit,” but “what’s happening is a lot of people are saying, look, I have to take the test, I’m not going to do that. You can go have somebody else be the guardian or another parent come in and do the test.”
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Watch the video (key moment starts at 7:35):
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com