Rick Scott Claims McConnell Punished Him for Failed Leadership Bid

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) asserted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) removed him from a significant committee role following his unsuccessful attempt to unseat the seasoned GOP leader.

In an interview with Politico, Scott outlined his ambitions to assume McConnell’s Senate leadership position, making him the third Senate Republican to challenge McConnell. The Florida senator has had a contentious relationship with McConnell over the years, the full extent of which came to light in the interview.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) center, speaks at RGF Environmental Group, during a small business endorsement event, Monday, May 13, 2024, in Riviera Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

In February 2023, Scott made a brief attempt to remove McConnell as Senate minority leader — a move that failed when put to vote. He stated on Friday that McConnell was infuriated by his challenge and retaliated against him.

“Well, I got kicked off committee. I got kicked off commerce,” he remarked. “I think, I’ve never done a real study of this, but I think I’ve probably run the biggest company of anybody that’s ever served in the Senate before — 25,000 employees. I’ve done business all my life… and I got kicked off of commerce. I mean, that’s clearly retaliation, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

Scott mentioned that he was informed via text about the decision about a week after the failed vote to unseat McConnell.

He also alleged that McConnell instructed his donors to stop providing funds, which significantly impacted his financial support.

The discord dates back to the 2022 election when Scott was appointed Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, responsible for that year’s Senate campaigns. Scott attributed the poor Republican performance that year to conflicting visions between himself and McConnell.

While he admitted that his performance as NRSC chairman was subpar, he largely placed the blame on McConnell. Scott claimed that although he had a plan, McConnell’s lack of one hampered the organization.

“We needed to have an overall plan,” he said. “We didn’t. OK. But if you’re the NRSC chair, you don’t get to do that. That was driven by the leader of the Senate, who made the decision not to have a plan. He was very clear.”

Brady Knox
Brady Knox
Brady Knox is a breaking news reporter with a particular focus on Russia, Eastern Europe, and foreign affairs. Hailing from Pittsburgh, he graduated from Miami University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies and political science.

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