Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell andSen. Rick Scott are now engaged in a battle to lead the Republican caucus in the Senate as the Florida lawmaker directly challenges the Kentucky Republican who has held the job for the past 15 years.
“Sen. Rick Scott and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell engaged in a tense back-and-forth where they criticized each other as the two men addressed Senate Republicans in a tense three-hour meeting,” CNN’s Manu Raju reports, citing “multiple senators” including Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri.
“The open hostility between Rick Scott’s and McConnell’s teams is just off the charts,” The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake adds.
Sen. Rick Scott has been highly criticized this year, first for his 60-page far-right extremist agenda that would effectively end social security, Medicare, increase taxes on low income workers, requiring every federal law to be passed again every five years. Later, in his role as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Scott was also highly criticized. Many still question where millions of donations to the NRSC went as some GOP Senate candidates struggled.
Still, Scott officially announced his candidacy to become the next Senate GOP Leader, challenging McConnell.
“Senator Scott disagrees with the approach that Mitch has taken in this election and for the last couple of years, and he made that clear and Senator McConnell criticized Senator Scott’s management of the NRSC,” Sen. Hawley told CNN.
McConnell is confident he will be re-elected Senate Republican Leader.
“I think the outcome is pretty clear. I want to repeat again, I have the votes, I will be elected. The only issue is whether we do it sooner or later,” McConnell said.
CNN reports it appears McConnell does.
Politico on Monday reminded readers that before the election one week ago, Scott had said “that Republicans had ‘great candidates’ and that those candidates had a ‘great message’ and the ‘energy on our side is unbelievable.’ He also said that ‘we defined the Democrats early and it paid off,’ an apparent reference to the National Republican Senatorial Committee spending money early on television ads.”
“Scott’s decision to release his own ‘Rescue America’ plan also did not go over well with some of his colleagues, especially after President Joe Biden used it to hammer Republicans,” Politico added.
In an apparent attack on Scott’s pre-Election Day claims, McConnell told CNN’s Raju, “So we learned some lessons about this, and I think the lesson’s pretty clear – Senate races are different, candidate quality, you recall I said in August is important. In most of our states we met that test, in a few of them we did not.”
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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