Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) announced in a closed-door Tuesday lunch with Republican senators that he will challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for GOP Senate leader.
“Republican voters expect and deserve to know our plan to promote and advance conservative values… That is why I am running to be Republican Leader,” Scott wrote in a letter released after the meeting.
“Like each of you, I am deeply disappointed by the results of the recent election,” Scott continued. “Despite what the armchair quarterbacks on TV will tell you, there is no one person responsible for our party’s performance across the country.”
“If you simply want to stick with the status quo, don’t vote for me,” Scott added.
Here’s the letter Rick Scott sent to his colleagues saying he would challenge Mitch McConnell for GOP leader pic.twitter.com/BP3rk4UtXz
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 15, 2022
Scott’s challenge will need a simple majority of GOP senators. The vote will take place on Wednesday by secret ballot and behind closed doors.
The announcement comes after a number of Republican senators tried to postpone the leadership elections until after the Georgia Senate race was decided. But Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), McConnell’s election lieutenant, said the election will proceed as planned.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated Tuesday if the vote was not delayed, McConnell would receive a challenge.
Those who were opposed to McConnell’s immediate leadership vote include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and perhaps Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
Former President Donald Trump had previously encouraged Scott to run against McConnell. “It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Sunday. “He blew the midterms, and everyone despises him.” Scott had never stated he would challenge McConnell, even though rumors swirled for months.
If McConnell fails to be reelected Wednesday, he will fail to become the longest serving Senate party leader in history.
Critics of McConnell have slammed him for defunding GOP Senate candidates during the midterms and instead directing the money to his ally, pro-impeachment Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who was challenged by Republican Kelly Tshibaka. Both Murkowski and McConnell have been censured by the Alaska Republican Party.
Under McConnell’s Senate leadership, the nation has struggled. The national debt has soared more than $20 trillion, illegal immigration has continued, real wages for American workers have remained stagnant, Obamacare was enacted in 2010, big banks were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have silenced individuals without repercussions. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccountable for allegedly twice lying to Congress.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.