He announced Tuesday that Sen. Rick Scott will run to replace Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate as the top Republican, in a note to GOP coworkers.
McConnell has been at odds for years with Scott, R-Fla. R-Ky. has been at odds with McConnell for much of the year over political strategy. Scott is also closer to former President Donald Trump who has called for McConnell’s removal as Senate Republican Leader.
Scott repeatedly refused to rule out challenging McConnell over the past months, but he didn’t confirm his plans until Tuesday at a closed-door GOP lunch.
“I am writing you today because I believe it is time for the Senate Republican Conference to be bolder and more determined than in the past. Scott wrote to his GOP colleagues, “We must begin saying what we stand for, not what we oppose.” “I don’t believe we can continue to claim that the Democrats are radical. Republican voters deserve and expect to be informed about our plans to advance and promote conservative values.
Scott said: “For those who are serious about ending reckless government expenditure and the devastating inflation that it has caused, finally act to protect Social Security, Medicare, and the promise of these programs to our children and grandchildren. Hold government accountable from FBI to IRS. Truly combat the extreme danger posed by Communist China. Refocus our military on lethal defense instead of waking nonsense. I ask for your support to change the direction of the Senate and rescue America from the dangerous path Democrats have put it on.”
McConnell dismissed Scott’s challenge in remarks to reporters Tuesday.
“I have the votes. He said, “I will be elected.”
McConnell acknowledged that some of his members want leadership elections delayed. McConnell said that he would have the votes to elect his party leader regardless of whether it is held Wednesday as planned or at another time.
McConnell’s allies ridiculed Scott for challenging McConnell amid a cycle where he was responsible for the NRSC. However, Republicans overall were unsuccessful.
“Every Republican was attacked because of his plan to reduce Social Security and Medicare… Now, he’s doubling back. John Ashbrook, a GOP strategist, and McConnell alum tweeted that “Nobody loves this more than Democrats.” “Nobody loves it more than Democrats.”
McConnell would be the longest-serving senatorial leader if he wins re-election.
Scott is calling for the delay of Senate leadership elections after disappointing elections in which Republicans lost the majority to Democrats.
“The Republican Senate leadership says, “No, you can’t have a plan. We’re going to just run against how bad they are.” Scott stated that the Democrats gave in to Scott’s demands on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Now they want an election. They won’t assess our mistakes.
Scott addressed the poor performance of Republicans in the midterms directly in his letter to senators.
Scott stated, “Like you all, I am deeply disappointed in the recent election.” “Despite what armchair quarterbacks will tell you, there are no single people responsible for the performance of our party across the country. While I am aware that Washington is full of people eager to blame others, I will not be one of them.
He also detailed the complaints of GOP senators regarding how the conference is run. These include having “no backbone”, making deals with Chuck Schumer that a majority member of our Conference disagrees with”, and pressuring members to vote on certain bills. Scott stated that he would be the one to change this.
Scott wrote, “I am aware that I won’t win the support of all members of our Conference. But we all have a clear decision to make.” “Don’t vote for me if you want to maintain the status quo.”
According to several Republican senators speaking this week, Scott will likely face a difficult task to win the GOP leadership position.
When asked by Scott if anyone could beat McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican-State of California) said, “I don’t see that right then.”