Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) announced at a lunch meeting with fellow Republican senators on Tuesday that he is challenging current Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his leadership post in the new Congress. Scott is the head of the NRSC, the GOP’s Senate campaign arm. His controversial tenure resulted in Democrats narrowly retaining control of the Senate. Scott’s bid is seen more as a protest as McConnell appears to have sufficient support to remain Leader.
Sen. Rick Scott, file screen image.
Politico’s Burgess Everett got the scoop.
NEWS: Sen. Rick Scott just announced a challenge to McConnell in closed-door GOP lunch https://t.co/EVs2IP0tQb
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 15, 2022
President Trump spoke about a Scott challenge to McConnell in a n interview last week with Glenn Beck, “I think Rick Scott would be much better than McConnell.”
Donald Trump: "I think Rick Scott would be much better than McConnell" as Republican Senate Majority Leader pic.twitter.com/EuwWwv0xrw
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 12, 2022
Scott posted on Twitter, “The status quo is broken and big change is needed. It’s time for new leadership in the Senate that unites Republicans to advance a bold conservative agenda. That’s why I’m running to be the Senate Republican Leader.”
The status quo is broken and big change is needed. It's time for new leadership in the Senate that unites Republicans to advance a bold conservative agenda.
That's why I'm running to be the Senate Republican Leader.https://t.co/B0rdMuR64Z
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) November 15, 2022
Text of the Scott’s dear colleague letter on his challenge (via Fox News.)
I ran for the Senate because, like each of you, I have core beliefs and would like
to improve our country. While I might vote a different way than you at times, I respect
each of you, your votes and your commitment to your respective states.
I’m writing to you today because I believe it’s time for the Senate Republican
Conference to be far more bold and resolute than we have been in the past. We must
start saying what we are for, not just what we are against. I do not believe we can
simply continue to say the Democrats are radical, which they are. Republican voters
expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values. We
need to listen to their calls for action and start governing in Washington like we
campaign back at home. There is a Republican Party that is alive and well in
communities across America. It is time there is one in Washington, D.C., too. That is
why I am running to be Republican Leader.
Like each of you, I am deeply disappointed by the results of the recent election.
Despite what the armchair quarterbacks on TV will tell you, there is no one person
responsible for our party’s performance across the country. I know there is no shortage
of people who are eager to point fingers and assign blame here in Washington, but I
won’t be one of them. It’s unproductive and a massive waste of time. We know that
chief among our problems in races across America was a lack of Republican voter
turnout. There may be many reasons for that, but after travelling the country to support
our candidates I believe voters want a plan. They are begging us to tell them what we
will do when we are in charge. Unfortunately, we have continued to elect leadership
who refuses to do that and elicits attacks on anyone that does. That is clearly not
working and it’s time for bold change. The voters are demanding it.
Since my first week in the Senate, I have listened to complaints about how the
Senate operates. Some say there is not a way for their views to be heard. Some say we
should work to unite Republicans and not Democrats. Some say we should use regular
order to pass bills, which would give Senators the opportunity to debate amendments
on the floor and provide input into legislation. Some are concerned we are not passing
budgets or prioritizing spending bills. Some are concerned we don’t do enough to force
votes on priorities with majority support in our Conference. Some believe we don’t have
a positive message to run on. Some believe we don’t hold the executive branch.
accountable. Some believe we constantly give in to the Democrats and have no
backbone. Some believe we should not make deals with Chuck Schumer that a majority
of our Conference members disagree with. Some question why we are presented large
spending bills we have never read or had input into and are expected to vote for them
on short notice to prevent a government shutdown. Some wonder why we have little
coordination with Republican House members. Some feel pressured to vote for bills
that are either against their core beliefs and what they campaigned on or against the
best interests of their state. Some believe Republican donor funds are only used to help
those who support leadership. Some believe we don’t take advantage of the
opportunities presented to move the Republican message forward. And then there are
some that are happy with the way things are going.
I understand that I won’t gain the support of every member of our Conference,
but we all have a clear choice to make. If you simply want to stick with the status quo,
don’t vote for me.
For those who want to get serious about ending reckless government spending
and the devastating inflation it has caused, finally take action to protect Social Security
and Medicare and preserve the promise of these programs for our children and
grandchildren, hold government accountable from the FBI to the IRS, truly combat the
extreme danger posed by Communist China and refocus our military on lethal defense
instead of woke nonsense, I ask for your support in changing the direction of the Senate
and rescuing America from the dangerous path Democrats have set it on. I look forward
to having the opportunity to meet with each of you to discuss your priorities and
collaborate on how we can achieve this vision.
Regardless of who we choose to be Republican Leader, I believe that we should treat
this as a job interview and demand anyone running for a position of leadership in our
conference to be transparent and explain why they deserve our support. If elected
Leader, I promise you the following:
1. I will always remember you elected me, and I will work with each of you to
accomplish your goals.
2. I will work tirelessly to help elect all Republican Senators, whether they are
likely to support me or not.
3. I will never surprise you with legislation and ask that you vote on something
you haven’t had an opportunity to review.
4. I will always work to be transparent with each of you and to bring the conference
5. I will work with each of you to advance Republican priorities and, when
possible, force Democrats to vote on our bills.
6. I will lead the conference in developing a positive, aspirational agenda that
outlines our legislative goals and what Senate Republicans stand for.
7. I will engage with the Republican House to pass Republican priorities.
8. I will never pressure you to vote in a way that is counter to what you
campaigned on or not in the best interests of your state.
I humbly ask for your vote as your next Republican Leader.
Images of letter:
Here’s the letter Rick Scott sent to his colleagues saying he would challenge Mitch McConnell for GOP leader pic.twitter.com/BP3rk4UtXz
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 15, 2022