The Washington Times - March 23, 2011, 05:28PM

Vice President Joseph R. Biden used a Wednesday visit to Florida to rebuke Gov. Rick Scott for turning down federal money for a high speed rail project, saying the move will stifle business in the Sunshine State.

“No business is going to build its own ports, its own runways, its own broadband networks. None are able to that,” said Biden, according to a pool report. “The government provides seed money. That’s how we built the transcontinental railroad. That’s how we got the Internet.”

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Scott, a Republican, announced in February he would return $2.4 billion in federal funds for a high-speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando — a move that kills the project and has set off a barrage of bipartisan complaints and a legal challenge.

Scott says he rejected the money because he feared Florida taxpayers could be stuck with cost overruns.

Biden gave his comments during a fundraiser for Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. About 150 people donated a minimum of $500 apiece to attend the mixer at the Winter Park home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg.

The vice president said he came to raise money for the two-term senator not just because they are friends and long time political allies but also because, “as goes Bill Nelson in Florida, so go Barack Obama and Joe Biden in Florida.”