Biden says defunct Florida high-speed rail project was a good idea

Vice President Joe Biden told a group of Democratic campaign donors Tuesday that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) should have allowed the state to build a high-speed rail line instead of rejecting the $2.4 billion in federal funding.

Biden was in Orlando, Fla., at a fundraising event for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is the only Democrat currently holding statewide office in Florida.
 

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That, and the fact that he supports the high-speed rail project Scott put the kibosh on, has made Nelson a huge target for Republicans in the state, who want to unseat him in the 2012 elections.
 
Florida Republicans have taken to calling the now-defunct project “ObamaRail,” and think they can damage Nelson’s reelection bid by harping on his support for it.

Scott has repeatedly indicated that efforts to change his mind about the Orlando-to-Tampa project were fruitless, even as Nelson has unsuccessfully tried to get the project back on track.
 
Biden, who recently had a train station in Delaware named after him, made the case for the rail line anyway, according to pool reports.
 
"No business is going to build its own ports, its own runways, its own broadband networks. None are able to do that," Biden said, according to reports. "The government provides seed money. That's how we built the transcontinental railroad. That's how we got the Internet.
 
"That's why Sen. Nelson and I both thought the high-speed rail made sense," he said.
 
Scott, of course, did not. The $2.4 billion that had been offered to Florida is now being solicited by several other states for rail projects.
 
Biden spoke to a crowd of about 150 people who donated at least $500 apiece to Nelson's reelection campaign.