It would be "foolish" for a Republican candidate not to want or accept the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, but that is not enough for a person to win an election, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, said Sunday.
"I hope Democrats continue to be obsessed with Donald Trump," Scott told NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think what we have to do is we have to say we would love Donald Trump's endorsement if you're a Republican and want his endorsement, but you're going to run on the issues."
He also said, as committee chairman, he is focused on his party winning back the Senate in 2022, not continuing to argue about the 2020 presidential race. The focus must be on the current issues.
"Here is what happened; we have a duly elected president," Scott said. "The Constitution was followed. I hope Democrats keep focusing all their time on Donald Trump. Republicans are going to focus on the issues, and we're going to win big in '22. That's exactly what I plan on doing."
He added, Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe probably would not have focused his "whole campaign" on Trump had he known that he would lose to Republican Glenn Youngkin, who ran his campaign based more on the issues.
"Americans are fed up with inflation, kids being indoctrinated in their schools, and fed up with defunding the police," Scott said. "Those are the issues people care about. I think this obsession with Donald Trump is going to be good for Republicans next year."
Scott added he does not think the Trump influence will affect his ability to recruit candidates who can win, but at the same time, the GOP should let voters decide.
"You're going to win not because somebody endorses you, but because you're making sure inflation gets stopped, that people get a job, making sure your kids aren't indoctrinated on critical race theory," Scott said. "Those are the issues people care about."
Further, there are incumbent senators, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, whose primary candidacy Trump will not endorse, but Scott said that does not mean his committee will not back her or other incumbents, as it supports all of its party incumbents who are seeking reelection.
"Fortunately for us, we have great candidates running in our primaries, and fortunately for us we have Bernie Sanders candidates on the other side in many primaries," Scott said. "We'll be in a great position in 2022."
Scott added, "when we win in '22," he wants to work with Democrats, but at the same time, he wants to "create the best economy we could ever have."
"We had a great economy under President Trump," Scott said. "I want to make sure kids get a great education. I want to fund the police, fund our military. Now, if the Democrats want to continue to bankrupt our country, continue to raise the debt ceiling, continue to raise taxes, I'm going to fight that."
Meanwhile, Scott said he supports infrastructure, but he does not support the bill that passed in the House on Friday.
"We should do things and be honest about what it is," he said. "Let's do real infrastructure and quit saying we're not going to raise your taxes eventually because we have these deficits. We have almost $30 trillion worth of debt. We have to hope to God our interest rates never go up because it will never be paid for."
Scott also said he fully supports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., returning to his post as the chamber's majority leader.
"I've known Mitch McConnell since the early '90s," Scott said. "I lived in Kentucky and supported him then. I have a good working relationship with Mitch McConnell."
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