EXCLUSIVE — Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is taking nationwide his message to ‘change’ the Republican Party and to stand up to what he calls President Biden’s ‘dangerous agenda.’
Scott, who late last year launched the first ever challenge against longtime Senate Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, is going up with a nationwide television ad in which he explains his unsuccessful bid to replace McConnell and warns that the GOP ‘can’t keep doing the same old thing.’
Scott’s political team, which shared the spot first with Fox News on Wednesday, said they’re spending seven figures to run the ad on national cable TV. Scott’s advisers say the commercial, which is being put out by the senator’s re-election campaign, starts running on Friday.
‘People told me not to run for Republican Leader against Mitch McConnell. They said I wouldn’t win. I knew it was going to be hard. But we’ve got to start somewhere,’ the former two-term governor and first term senator says in the ad.
Scott argues that ‘we are on the road to woke socialism and Republicans are just a speed bump. We can’t keep doing the same old thing. It’s time for Republicans to be bold, speak the truth, and stop caving in. Help us change our party. Join us at RescueAmerica.com.’
Scott, who chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2022 election cycle, butted heads with McConnell over the past year over Scott’s running of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, and his pushing of a plan detailing a Senate GOP agenda.
Republicans were aiming to win back the majority in November’s midterm elections, and Scott predicted his party would regain control of the chamber. But the GOP ended up losing a seat to the Democrats as their conference in the 100-member chamber shrank to 49 senators.
In the days following the November midterms, Scott challenged McConnell for Senate minority leader, but McConnell retained his post in a 37-10 vote. It was the first leadership challenge the longtime senator from Kentucky faced since assuming the post in 2007.
Even though his challenge was a long shot, supporters of Scott’s move said it was a worthwhile endeavor to demonstrate unrest in the ranks of Senate Republicans. McConnell said he wasn’t offended by Scott’s challenge and his supporters said it was an opportunity to show his strong standing in the Senate GOP conference.
‘We had a good opportunity to discuss the differences, people had an opportunity to listen to both candidates, and I’m pretty proud of 37 to 10,’ McConnell said after the vote.
Soon after the leadership vote, Scott and his conservative colleagues in the Senate opposed McConnell’s move to support a massive, bipartisan, spending bill to fund the federal government for the next ten months.
The news of Scott’s new ad comes a day after McConnell, in a speech on the Senate floor, marked his tenure as the longest serving party leader in the chamber’s history.
Scott is up for re-election in 2024 and has repeatedly said he intends to run for a second six-year term in the Senate. And he hasn’t ruled out another potential future bid for Senate Republican leader.
‘My goal is to make sure we change the direction of the Senate,’ Scott said in a late November interview with Fox News, when asked if he would seek the Senate GOP leadership again if he wins re-election in 2024.
Political prognosticators have long viewed Scott, a former health care executive who’s the Senate’s wealthiest member, as a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender. While Scott has said he intends to run for re-election, he has pointedly not ruled out a White House run.