- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Florida Gov. Rick Scott took time out from his re-election campaign Tuesday to observe a moment of silence for Floridian Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State.

“If you attack one American, you are attacking all Americans,” the Republican said, standing in front of rows of Ace Hardware buckets at what would have been a routine campaign stop.

Mr. Scott is hoping to stave off former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat who wants his old job back.

But breaking news of Sotloff’s killing, captured in a video released Tuesday, prompted Mr. Scott to change his script.

“The people who did this are evil … And evil must be confronted and destroyed,” he said.

He asked attendees to pray for Sotloff’s family members, who live in South Florida.

The governor then offered some tough rhetoric for President Obama, who last week admitted his administration did not yet have a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State, which has grown to an estimated 10,000 strong and taken swaths of Syria and Iraq.

“President Obama needs to have a strategy, and he needs to have it now,” he said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama confirmed the authenticity of the Sotloff beheading video and said the goal is to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic militants so they no longer pose a threat to the civilized world.

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