Scott picks a side in Trump’s violent, racist attacks on McConnell. Spoiler alert: It’s Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 05: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on October 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. During their news conference McConnell reiterated his belief that the Senate should pass legislation to raise the federal debt-limit through reconciliation. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

As of yet, no elected Republican has stood up to condemn Trump’s casual call to violence or his racism, or to defend McConnell and Chao. Since Congress is on recess now, they won’t have to face reporters directly, and none of them seem to be anxious to make statements about it because it’s the decent thing to do.

Scott was the only elected Republican directly confronted with the question about Trump’s rhetoric Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union and on CBS’ Face the Nation. On CNN, confronted with Trump’s words, Scott said, “I don’t condone violence,” then tried to pivot to pretending that Trump was talking about inflation. No. Really. “I think, you know, what the President is saying is, ‘You know, there’s been a lot of money spent over the last two years. We’ve got to make sure we don’t keep caving to Democrats. It’s causing an unbelievable inflation and causing more and more debt.’”

As for the attack on Chao, “It’s never, ever okay to be a racist,” Scott told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I hope no one is racist. […] I hope no one says anything that’s inappropriate.” Perhaps he’ll send up some prayers, too, for “people” to not be racist. That’ll work.

Here he is on CBS, dodging the question of the incitement of violence implicit in what his leader said Friday—and what Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene escalated at a rally with Trump over the weekend. He dodged it six times in 3 minutes and 45 seconds.


Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) asked 6 times in 4 minutes whether he rejects a racist post from former president Donald Trump and false death claims from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Scott dodges 6 times.

— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) October 2, 2022

Scott and McConnell have been feuding for months, so it’s not terribly surprising that he’s not out there to defend McConnell. But that’s no excuse for refusing to condemn violent, racist rhetoric. Which tells you everything you need to know about where Republicans are lining up in the next elections.


So much for McConnell’s tight messaging ahead of 2022

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