Politics & Policy

Rick Scott Strikes Optimistic Note on GOP’s Future: Americans ‘Like What We’re Doing’

Senator Rick Scott (R., Fla.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 8, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Kissimmee, Fla. — If Republicans want to win back Congress next year, they need a compelling message based on freedom, liberty and economic prosperity, said Florida Senator Rick Scott. And then they need “to get out and talk to everybody.”

Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was one of the GOP leaders who spoke Friday morning at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Kissimmee, Fla., near Orlando. He then spoke briefly with National Review.

Conservative voters clearly are united in opposition to President Joe Biden’s agenda, Scott said. Republican leaders need to promote pro-growth policies that will get the country “back to where we had the best economy in the world,” he said. And Republicans need to stand up for freedom and liberty, and school choice, he said.

Scott, who previously served for eight years as Florida’s governor, took heat in January when he voted against certifying the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania. He was one of eight Republican senators who voted against certifying the results in either Pennsylvania or Arizona. At the time, critics on both the left and right were opining that the Republican Party was “doomed” or “dead.” But Scott doesn’t buy it.

“We had 500,000 donations of under $200 at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the first five months,” Scott said. “We’re raising more money than the Democrats. It shows you, the people like what we’re doing. They don’t like what Biden’s doing.”

The 2020 elections showed the GOP has an opportunity to broaden and diversify its coalition, particularly with Hispanic voters, who Scott sees as aspirational and natural Republicans.

“We’ve got to get out and talk to everybody. We’ve got to get our voters out,” Scott said of the 2022 elections. “I think the biggest thing is we have to have a message, we have to have great candidates, and we have to work hard.”

Scott has been talked about as a possible 2024 presidential candidate. On Friday he dismissed the idea, at least for now. “My plan is to run for re-election as a U.S. Senator,” he said.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


The Latest