On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott brought U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to Jacksonville, in a potential preview of a Senate partnership.
In front of a crowd of roughly 100 people at a Christian school on the Westside, the South Carolina Republican extolled Scott’s reliability as he stressed issues he’d be reliable on (including Supreme Court votes, support for Israel, and tax reform).
But Scott’s ability to self-finance, not often a talking point for Scott’s campaign, informed the most interesting part of Graham’s remarks.
“When I heard Rick was running for the Senate, I got on my knees and said a prayer,” Graham said. “He’s the one guy who could make this a race. Because Florida’s expensive and incumbents are hard to beat.”
Graham noted that Scott “started with nothing, and has lived the American Dream. He’s put a lot of his own money into this race.”
“I asked Rick about this and he said ‘I’ve been blessed beyond measure. My children are good. My family is more than good. We’ve been very blessed,’ ” Graham added.
“My wife and (I) said ‘this money is a blessing from God and we’re going to use it to for good,’ ” Graham quoted Scott as saying.
Graham quipped that “you can do a lot of good as a U.S. Senator.”
Sen. Bill Nelson weighed in quickly.
Dear @ScottforFlorida, your money didn't come from God. You took it from American taxpayers when your company ripped off Medicare. And you've enriched yourself since in public office. https://t.co/TnmVhbO2P4 https://t.co/sdzxapWI62
— Nelson for U.S. Senate (@NelsonForSenate) November 2, 2018
Scott’s wealth has been an issue throughout his two terms as Florida Governor, with scads of critical reporting about his blind trust.
The Scotts are worth somewhere between $254 and $510 million at last check, and investments have done well, as one reporter noticed on the trail.
We would have asked Scott about Graham’s remarks after the event, and issues of divine provenance more generally, but his campaign did not schedule time for a gaggle.
I asked Rick Scott if he would have been able to contribute $64 million to his campaign if his net worth hadn’t increased by $83 million while governor.
His response: “I’m just gonna say I’m committed to this campaign.”https://t.co/PWKwYefDFH
— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) November 1, 2018