‘He’s Accomplished Absolutely Nothing’: Rick Scott Primary Challenger Calls Florida Senator An ‘Ineffective Crook’

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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A primary challenger to Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida called the lawmaker an “absolute ineffective crook” whose career has been sustained by his personal wealth in a Monday interview with The Hill.

Keith Gross, an attorney and former restaurant business owner, has launched a campaign to challenge Scott in the state’s Republican senatorial primary in 2024. During an interview, Gross called Scott an ineffective senator who has “accomplished absolutely nothing” during his career, according to a report by The Hill. (RELATED: GOP Sen Rick Scott Weighing Presidential Bid: REPORT)

“Rick has done a really great job of marketing. But if you separate his rhetoric from his record — ‘the wrecking ball in D.C.?’ Seriously, he’s accomplished absolutely nothing in five years in the U.S. Senate,” Gross said. “It’s because he’s an absolute ineffective crook, basically. If I thought there was an awesome senator in that seat … I would be looking at a different seat. Where can I make a difference?” he added.

During his Senate term, Scott has sponsored or co-sponsored 32 bills that have become law, including the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022.

“Whether he’s running as a Democrat in Georgia or running businesses into the ground in Maryland, Keith Gross has a long record of failure and fraud. Rick Scott is going to crush him.” wrote Philip Letsou, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Scott, who served two terms as the governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019, is also a wealthy businessman who founded the Columbia Hospitals Corporation in 1988, which owned hospitals in Texas. In 1994, his company merged with the Hospital Corporation of America to become Columbia/HCA, which then became the “world’s largest health care company” according to The New York Times, with Scott serving as CEO.

Scott entered the Senate after unseating Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in 2018 by a narrow margin. His tenure in the Senate has attracted attention for his conflict with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, particularly during the 2022 midterm elections, where they sparred over McConnell’s Super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, and its spending on Senate candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Scott later challenged McConnell for the conference leadership in the 118th Congress, though he was defeated by a vote of 37-10.

“He says he is the most unlikely guy in Washington, yet the entire party establishment is backing him, trying to place their thumbs on the scale,” Gross said of Scott, who is the frontrunner in the primary and has outraised Gross by nearly $12 million, according to Federal Election Commission data, with endorsements from the Club for Growth, Republican Jewish Coalition and Senate Conservatives Fund.

A Democratic-sponsored poll in June, however, showed Scott losing to former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida, who has declared her candidacy for the Democratic primary.

“[T]he biggest positive impact I know I can make is in the U.S. Senate by unseating that guy,” Gross said.

This article has been updated with comment from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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