Distance from Donald Trump? Rick Scott bullish on Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski
Trump scored an award from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.

Scott Trump NRSC
The Senator also says no preemptive pardons for Jan. 6 rioters.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott on Wednesday said he’d support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a 2022 leadership vote, one of a number of comments that seemed to put the Senator at odds with former President Donald Trump.

The Senator has faced a balancing act between the temperamental former President and the leader of the Republican Senate caucus. Though Scott’s comments were tempered here, there was plenty that could be interpreted as a rebuke of Trump.

Scott, during an interview with CBS News, said he “absolutely” will support McConnell and that he doesn’t anticipate a serious challenge to the Kentucky Senator, routinely derided as the “Old Crow” by Trump.

“I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t continue to be the leader,” Scott said. “I can’t imagine there would be a leader besides Mitch McConnell.”

“Mitch McConnell will be the leader of the Senate,” Scott added, predicting a GOP win in a “great November.”

From there, Scott addressed one of the more interesting races on the 2022 Primary calendar: a Trump-backed challenge to Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Scott, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said she will be fine in the Primary.

“I don’t think Lisa Murkowski is going to need any support,” Scott said.

The NRSC is looking instead to “other states we can pick up,” such as Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, in an effort to “play offense all across the country.”

Scott also did not offer support for preemptive pardons of those involved in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, saying that while they may be eligible for retroactive presidential “clemency,” they should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Just like anybody who breaks into property — federal property, state property — they all need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Scott said.

Scott invoked his own experience with clemency proceedings as Governor, saying that those charged and convicted with crimes relative to the riots could “go through that process, but right now people need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Let’s follow the law. They broke the law. They need to be prosecuted. Whoever the President is has the opportunity to look at clemency,” Scott said.

That position is far away from that of Trump, who mulled pardoning the rioters on his way out of office, and said he would consider doing so if President again.

The Senator stopped short, meanwhile, of condemning the Republican National Committee for its decision to censure Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

“I’m not going to second-guess what members of the RNC want to do,” Scott said. “The RNC gets to make decisions.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • politics

    February 16, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    your gov should distance themselves from you with all the technology abuse they think they are god.

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 21, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Scott doesn’t stand a chance against the Donald in the political ring. It’s like hitting against a metaphysical force. Keep punching and prepare for a hammer.

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 21, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Habeas Corpus seems to be in order.

Comments are closed.


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