Report: Trump Urges Rick Scott to Run for Senate Leader

President Donald Trump, left, waves as he walks with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, after arriving on Air Force One at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Trump is campaigning for Scott, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for a seat in …
Susan Walsh/AP

Donald Trump has reportedly urged Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for Senate leader after the November midterms.

“You should run for Senate majority leader,” Trump pitched Scott at Mar-a-Lago this week, according to Politico Playbook. Scott reportedly did not oppose Trump’s idea, perhaps putting in motion designs to replace establishment McConnell with conservative Scott.

“We have to focus on winning” the Senate back, Scott reportedly responded to Trump. “My only focus is on winning.”

Scott, who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and responsible for money for GOP Senate campaigns, is a former Florida businessman that won his Senate seat in 2018 by 10,000 without the Republican Party’s support. Before winning the Senate seat, he was governor of Florida. In 2010, the Republican Governors Association verbally opposed Scott in the GOP gubernatorial primary race.

In Washington, Scott has been careful not to make unnecessary alliances that may have detrimental strings attached. On Tuesday, Scott published an 11-point vision to be put into action if Senate Republicans reclaim the chamber in November. The plan was released in his personal capacity from his own campaign and not as the NRSC chairman.

“Roaring inflation, the dangerous mismanagement of our border, the disastrous escalation of spending and debt, the shamefully inept withdrawal from Afghanistan, the use of public schools for left-wing indoctrination, and the incredible lawlessness on our streets… Americans are angry, and rightfully so,” Scott said as he released an opening excerpt of the plan to Breitbart News.

Before releasing the plan, Scott reportedly notified Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who supported the plan, and McConnell. Scott told Breitbart News McConnell liked the plan. Scott also told Breitbart News he is not directly itching for engagement with McConnell. But Scott’s release of a plan does oppose McConnell’s view that no political promises should be made to the public, and this has reportedly “infuriated” some McConnell allies.

“Rick Scott doesn’t give a fuck about what McConnell world thinks,” a Politico source said about the interplay between Scott and McConnell.

Scott will champion his plan at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He will reportedly promote a broad vision of what the GOP will aim to accomplish if Republicans take back the Senate.

Trump’s encouragement of Scott opposing McConnell for GOP Senate leader comes as McConnell has braced himself against America First Republicans who oppose renewing his Senate leadership position.

Missouri candidate Eric Greitens and Trump-backed Alaskan candidate Kelly Tshibaka have both announced they would not support McConnell for GOP leader if they win in November. In response, McConnell told CNN in January that he will wait to “see what happens” after the midterms before crowning himself leader.

Throughout McConnell’s leadership, illegal immigration has flourished, the national debt has grown by nearly $20 billion, and real wages for American workers have remained stagnant since the 1970s. Obamacare was enacted in 2010. Big financial institutions were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have “disappeared” individuals without repercussions. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccountable for allegedly lying twice to Congress.

“How this guy can stay as Leader is beyond comprehension—this is coming not only from me, but from virtually everyone in the Republican Party,” Trump wrote in December. “He is a disaster and should be replaced as ‘Leader’ ASAP!”

Polling reveals Trump is far more popular than McConnell. Only 41 percent of Republicans approve of McConnell, while 83 percent approve of Trump.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø

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