National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., says he won't play peacemaker between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump.
“Many are saying it is my job to mediate between warring factions on the right and mediate the war of words between party leaders.…Well, I have news for them—I’m not going to mediate anything,” he said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.
“Instead, I’m going to fight for our conservative values, and I’m going to do it boldly, and without apology to anyone.”
Scott, who speaks regularly with Trump, is the rare Republican who can remain close to the former president and criticize him.
“You can be sure that he will call me tomorrow and say, ‘Nice speech Rick, except for that part about me having flaws.’ That’s gonna happen,” he said. “But it was high time for someone to say NO to Washington, and I’m glad President Trump had the guts to do it.”
Scott himself will not say no to Trump's primary challenges to the incumbents he is assigned to back, including Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
"No, I never talked to him about that," Scott told The Wall Street Journal. "If endorsements mattered, I wouldn't have been a governor, and I wouldn't have been a U.S. senator."
Democrats see Scott stuck between a rock and a hard place.
"He is torn between Mitch McConnell's version of Washington politics and Donald Trump's unhinged conspiracy theories, and it's hard to see how you get those two warring factions to get on the same page," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Stewart Boss told the Journal. "This tension is not something you can move beyond easily, and it's going to be a problem for Senate Republicans across the map."
But, ultimately, Scott believes the battle will be won by focusing on the anti-capitalist policies of the progressive Democratic Party.
"The Biden administration is going to make it really easy," Scott said.
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