‘Jump ball’ comment latest illustration of gulf between Mitch McConnell, Rick Scott
Friends? Enemies? Or something in between?

Scott McConnell
McConnell doesn't think Scott's NRSC can deliver a Republican Senate.

The difference of opinion continues between Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott regarding whether Republicans will retake the Senate this year.

In a Senate Republican leadership press conference Tuesday in Washington, Minority Leader McConnell again threw cold water on the expectation of a GOP Senate majority this year.

“I’ve consistently said for two years now that the Senate is 50/50, the country is 50/50, and I think the outcome for the Senate is likely to be 50/50. We’ve got a bunch of hard fought races, we’re all giving it our best on both sides, and I think it’s a jump ball,” McConnell said, as Scott, who Chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), stood behind him.

McConnell’s comments were less quotable than previous remarks on this topic, such as an assertion that Republicans likely won’t pick up seats because “candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

Scott also seemed to try to temper the conflict during a Tuesday radio interview after the press conference.

“I don’t know why people thought there was a schism. We both had the exact same goal,” Scott said Tuesday on the Guy Benson Show, in an attempt to squash the recurrent narrative of conflict between McConnell and him.

Scott previously said the two have a “good working relationship.” Still, throughout the summer, Scott has defended NRSC strategy against attacks, and also delivered a series of defenses of the 2022 candidates who emerged from Primaries while addressing McConnell’s doubts that Republicans have more than a 50/50 shot at taking back the Senate due to questionable candidates in certain races.

Scott has said Republicans could win up to 54 seats this November, and has hyped the GOP nominees accordingly.

“No! We’ve got great candidates! Look at the background of these people. These are wonderful individuals that believe in this country, and they believe in the right things,” Scott said in August on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” program. “We are going to win, but we’ve got to raise our money. When we raise our money, we win.”

During a Sept. 1 spot on the Brian Kilmeade radio show, Scott claimed McConnell’s doubts amounted to a “shot at our candidates and the voters.”

“A lot of the Washington crowd, what they want to do is pick the candidates,” Scott said on the Charlie Kirk show Sept. 6

The schism between Scott and McConnell is documented at this point. They had a public split over Scott’s “12-point plan to rescue America.” McConnell slammed the plan’s suggestion of review of federal entitlement programs as a nonstarter if he led Senate Republicans next year.

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly urged Scott to make a play for McConnell’s post. Scott has not endorsed McConnell to lead the caucus beyond this year.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

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  • PeterH

    September 20, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Republican infighting is an indication that the GQP is losing!

    REPUBLICANS are America’s problem!
    VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE!

    Reply

  • Lex Taylor

    September 21, 2022 at 7:50 am

    McConnell is a relic. If he cannot pave the path for Republican wins under this inflation, then he needs to step down or be removed from leadership.

    Reply

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