Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott continued their feud over the GOP’s under-performance in the 2022 midterms, with McConnell saying Scott’s policy proposals would hurt his re-election chances.
As head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), Scott introduced an eleven-point plan that he promoted as the party’s platform for the midterms. Democrats called out one plank that would sunset all federal laws after five years as a bid to cut Social Security and Medicare. McConnell and other Republicans have repeatedly disavowed the platform.
After President Joe Biden cited the plan during his State of the Union address, McConnell again blasted Scott. He told Kentucky radio host Terry Meiners that the plan would imperil Scott’s 2024 re-election bid.
From that same interview:
“Speaker McCarthy said Social Security and Medicare are not to be touched and I’ve said the same. And I think we’re in a more authoritative position to state what the position of the party is than any single senator.”
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) February 10, 2023
“This is a bad idea. I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own reelection in Florida, a state with more elderly people than any other state in America,” McConnell said. “Speaker McCarthy said Social Security and Medicare are not to be touched and I’ve said the same. And I think we’re in a more authoritative position to state what the position of the party is than any single senator.”
Scott’s communications director Chris Hartline fired back on Twitter, accusing McConnell of promoting Democratic Party talking points. (RELATED: Top Conservative Groups, Lawmakers Call For Delay Of GOP Leadership Elections)
“Lol. Rick Scott knows how to win Florida a hell of a lot better than Mitch McConnell does. Some DC Republicans can keep parroting Democrat lies, but that won’t stop Rick Scott from fighting for conservative principles instead of caving to Biden every day,” he tweeted.
McConnell and Scott feuded throughout the election cycle over the NRSC’s midterm strategy. In contrast with years past, the campaign arm did not endorse in primaries. McConnell criticized the practice, saying that “candidate quality” would hinder the GOP’s chances at taking back the upper chamber. Scott responded by accusing McConnell of treason in a Washington Examiner op-ed.
Scott challenged McConnell for GOP leader after the midterms, but the Kentuckian handily won the internal race.
The NRSC under new chairman Steve Daines of Montana has reversed Scott’s policy of not getting involved in primaries. The campaign arm has endorsed Rep. Jim Banks in the race for Indiana’s open Senate seat.