Rick Scott Says He’ll Back GOP Incumbents Over Trump Challengers

Rick Scott Says He’ll Back GOP Incumbents Over Trump Challengers
U.S. Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, speaks to the media before the weekly Senate Republican lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 10, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Isabel van Brugen

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the new chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said on Jan. 21 that he’ll back GOP incumbents even if former President Donald Trump or his family were to get involved in the 2022 Senate races.

“I’m supporting incumbents,” Scott said during a press briefing on Capitol Hill when pressed on rumors that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, might be considering running alongside fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022.

He said that "nobody has talked to me" or confirmed the rumors, noting that he hasn’t spoken with Trump since he left office.

“Nobody. I’ve tried to call around. Nobody’s said anything about Florida,” he said.

Scott, who voted on Jan. 6 to object to the certification of electoral college votes in Pennsylvania, repeated his stance when asked if he would back Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) against a Trump-backed challenger.

As the new NRSC head, Scott is in charge of spearing the GOP’s effort to take back the Senate, including keeping seats in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Democratic seats in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada. and New Hampshire will also be targeted by Republicans in 2022.

Defending his decision to challenge Pennsylvania's electoral college results, Scott said that he wants people to “follow the law.”

"I mean, you have to remember what I went through in my 2018 election where they completely violated the law. They found 95,000 votes after election night. Chuck Schumer sent lawyers down because he didn't care what the votes were, he's going to the court. So, I want people to follow the law," Scott said.

Scott also said he would not judge those who vote to convict Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial.

“Everybody will have to decide on their own. I think we ought to focus on where we’re going, not the past,” he said. “Everybody will make their own decision.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that the House will likely send the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate by the end of the week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Jan. 21 that it’s up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as to when the article will be transmitted.

The House impeached Trump on Jan. 13 for allegedly incitement of an insurrection; blaming him for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol although he urged supporters to act “peacefully” at the time.

Trump meanwhile has made some statements in recent speeches suggesting that he will continue to be active in politics.

“We love you," he told Americans on Wednesday. "We will be back in some form."

“As I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it,” Trump said in a farewell video on Tuesday.
On Thursday, newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced she has introducing articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
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