Florida Sen. Rick Scott came up short in his bid to wrest control of the Republican Senate caucus from current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
As The Free Press reported on Wednesday, GOP senators re-elected McConnell as their leader on Wednesday after dismissing pleas from fellow Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to wait until Senate elections in Georgia and Alaska could be settled.
McConnell won by a 37-10 margin.
It was the first time McConnell has been challenged as GOP leader since taking on the role in 2007, The New York Times reported. McConnell told the Times he was “pretty proud” of the outcome.
It’s unclear who all 10 Scott supporters were, but on Twitter before the vote, Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Braun of Indiana said they would vote for Scott.
Their support seemed rooted in opposing McConnell’s top-down leadership.
“We need a different, more collaborative governing model for our conference that is focused on fiscal sanity & bringing function to the Senate,” Johnson tweeted on Tuesday.
After it was over, Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota told the Times, “I think Rick Scott accomplished his point, and that is that several members are frustrated and have been for some time that they want to see a more inclusive process. They don’t want to see so many back-room deals.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, without naming Scott, told the Times, “Clearly, the Republican Party’s got to do something different if we ever want to be a majority party.”
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In a statement Wednesday, Scott expressed disappointment but reminded Republicans that Democrats and their policies are the real enemy.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era in the Senate Republican Conference. Throughout my life, and especially during my eight years as Governor of Florida, I have been frustrated by the broken status quo in Washington that continuously fails to deliver on its promises to the American people,” Scott said.
“That’s why I ran for Senate in 2018 – to end the status quo by fighting every day to Make Washington Work for Florida families. We’ve made progress in this fight, but there is so much more we could get done, both as individual senators and as a Republican Conference, if we commit to a plan and work together as a team to advance conservative policies and ideas.”
“We need to stand strong on our principles and be accountable to those that elected us to actually get things done that will benefit American families and protect the future prosperity of our nation,” he continued. “Although the results of today’s elections weren’t what we hoped for, this is far from the end of our fight to Make Washington Work.”
“I will never stop fighting to end Joe Biden’s reckless government spending and the devastating inflation Democrats have caused. I will never stop fighting to finally take action to protect Social Security and Medicare and preserve the promise of these programs for our children and grandchildren; to hold the government accountable, from the FBI to the IRS; to truly combat the extreme danger posed by Communist China, and to refocus our military on lethal defense instead of woke nonsense.” Scott added.
“My resolve to stand up for what Republicans across this nation stand for has never been stronger than it is today. I could not be more grateful for the support I’ve received from many of my colleagues and from Americans across our great country. I never thought for a moment that this fight would be easy, but I’m optimistic that, together, Republicans can rescue America with the principles that unite us against the dangerous path Democrats have set it on.”