GOP governors gather amid push for 'disruptive change' - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GOP governors gather amid push for 'disruptive change'

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By GARY FINEOUT
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The country's Republican governors are meeting in battleground Florida with what many of them see as an opportunity for "disruptive" changes to wrest power from Washington and rework health care following the election of Donald Trump.

Wisconsin's Scott Walker, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said Tuesday on MSNBC that Trump elevates "the possibilities in terms of what we can do to take power out of Washington and send it back to the states" and more importantly "back to the people."

Trump perhaps owes no governor more than Walker, a onetime rival of the GOP presidential nominee who ended up endorsing the billionaire. Walker's state had been thought to be a Democratic firewall, but for the first time since 1984, Wisconsin voted for a Republican president and helped Trump win the White House.

Walker said the federal government's focus should be on "fixing and maintaining our existing infrastructure" not "grandiose" high speed rail lines, for example.

According to the Pew Research Center poll after the election, people agree that fixing the nation's roads, bridges and other infrastructure should be a postelection priority. The survey of Clinton and Trump voters also believe drug addiction is another big problem for the country.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on his fellow Republicans to help Trump bring "disruptive change" to Washington. For Scott, that means a complete repeal of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Scott has been vague about what should be done about the 20 million Americans who got health insurance through the overhaul.

"Of course we will need to unwind in a fair way, but we absolutely must repeal it," he said during a reception for the governors Monday night.

Scott backed Trump after he won the Florida primary in March and eventually headed up a super PAC that ran ads praising Trump and criticizing Clinton.

Other governors expected to attend this week's conference had differing opinions over Trump.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the nation's only Latina governor, refused to endorse Trump but did congratulate him after he won.

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AP writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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