“Hopefully, it won’t happen.”
That was how Sen. Rick Scott framed the possibility of active-duty military being deployed to control American citizens on American streets.
The first-term Republican appeared on Newsmax TV Wednesday evening. The host asked him about President Donald Trump‘s fleeting proposal to deploy active-duty troops in major cities to squelch protests.
The idea was rooted in the Insurrection Act of 1807, which permits military deployment under extraordinary circumstances.
Scott did not take sides in the internal debate between the President and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who came out against the idea.
However, Scott did not rule out the proposition as a bad idea either, saying it was a “last resort” to be used only after more conventional approaches were exhausted.
“It’s a last resort,” Scott said. “Clearly you’re going to call up the National Guard and hopefully that’s all you’ll need, on top of your local law enforcement, state law enforcement.”
Scott, who mentioned again his calls with local law enforcement but not with Gov. Ron DeSantis, noted that Florida shares resources well.
“Hopefully, with the National Guard, that’s all we’re ever going to need. So it would only be as a last resort,” Scott said. “So hopefully it won’t happen.”
“I know the President’s very focused on keeping everybody safe,” the Senator added.
Indeed, the Senator has walked arm-and-arm with the President, at least metaphorically, in what has been a complicated news cycle for Trump.
Scott backed the President’s “law and order” branding of the militarized response to civil unrest earlier this week.
“I’m glad the President is taking this seriously. I hope that every Mayor and every Governor does. I mean, you hear about the looting in New York,” Scott said. “That can’t happen, we’ve got to stop this.”
The Senator singled out one particular Governor that he didn’t see as taking this seriously enough.
Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam nixed the President’s request for National Guard troops, vexing the Senator.
“This isn’t a time for politics,” Scott chided.