#USA Senator Rick Scott slams Mitch McConnell for 'trash talking' candidates #USNews

#USA Senator Rick Scott slams Mitch McConnell for ‘trash talking’ candidates #USNews

#USA Senator Rick Scott slams Mitch McConnell for ‘trash talking’ candidates #USNews

Two GOP Senate leaders are at odds over the best strategy for taking back the upper chamber.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seemingly opened the door to his party failing to take back the Senate come November due to ‘candidate quality,’ while Rick Scott wants to stop the intra-party trash talk.

‘Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here … We have great candidates,’ the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair told Politico Thursday. ‘He wants to do the same thing I want to do: I want to get a majority. And I think it’s important that we’re all cheerleaders for our candidates.’ 

McConnell predicted in August the House was more likely to flip than the Senate and signaled he was not a fan of some of the Trump-backed candidates who sailed to victory in their primaries. 

‘I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,’ the Republican Senate leader said in Florence, Kentucky, at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce lunch.

'Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here … We have great candidates,' the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott told Politico Thursday

‘Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here … We have great candidates,’ the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott told Politico Thursday

Sen. Mitch McConnell predicted in August the House was more likely to flip than the Senate and signaled he was not a fan of some of the Trump-backed candidates who sailed to victory in their primaries

Sen. Mitch McConnell predicted in August the House was more likely to flip than the Senate and signaled he was not a fan of some of the Trump-backed candidates who sailed to victory in their primaries

‘Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate, either our side up slightly or their side up slightly.’

‘If you trash talk our candidates … you hurt our chances of winning, and you hurt our candidates’ ability to raise money,’ Scott said Thursday. ‘I know they’re good candidates, because I’ve been talking to them and they’re working their butts off.’ 

Scott took his criticisms of those who undercut a united GOP front even further in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner Thursday. 

‘If you want to talk about the need to raise more money to promote our candidates versus the Democrats’ terrible candidates, I agree. If you want to trash-talk our candidates to help the Democrats, pipe down,’ the Florida Republican wrote. ‘That’s not what leaders do. And Republicans need to be leaders that build up the team and do everything they can to get the entire team over the finish line.’ 

‘Ultimately, though, when you complain and lament that we have “bad candidates,” what you are really saying is that you have contempt for the voters who chose them. Now we are at the heart of the matter. Much of Washington’s chattering class disrespects and secretly (or not so secretly) loathes Republican voters,’ Scott added. 

And as the Trump raid has dominated the news cycle for weeks, it’s shifted the national conversation away from matters like inflation and gas prices. McConnell is reportedly privately telling people he thinks Republicans are blowing an opportunity to win control by inserting the former president back into the conversation. 

Some are worried that Republicans’ chances to flip the 50-50 Senate as J.D. Vance struggles to fend off Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio, Herschel Walker fights for his political life against Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, and Mehmet Oz trails behind John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, potentially allowing that GOP seat to flip the other way. 

J.D. Vance

Rep. Tim Ryan

Some are worried that Republicans’ chances to flip the 50-50 Senate as J.D. Vance struggles to fend off Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly now leads Blake Masters in almost all public polling and last month Senate Republicans' primary super PAC canceled their $10 million ad buy in the Copper State

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly now leads Blake Masters in almost all public polling and last month Senate Republicans’ primary super PAC canceled their $10 million ad buy in the Copper State

Scott, however, thinks the raid might energize the base. 

‘A lot of people are mad that a former president, a potential opponent in ’24, is being raided at his house,’ Scott said. ‘It’s energized a lot of people.’ 

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly now leads Blake Masters in almost all public polling and last month Senate Republicans’ primary super PAC canceled their $10 million ad buy in the Copper State. 

But Scott shared optimism that extended even into blue states like Colorado, Washington and added, ‘we’ve got good candidates in other states, like Connecticut, it just depends on what the environment’s gonna be.’

Parties that control the White House, Senate and House usually face a drubbing in midterm elections.

Add in President Joe Biden’s historic unpopularity and Democrats had assumed that 2022 would follow that pattern.

But in recent weeks they have claimed a handful of legislative victories, while watching Republican primaries deliver wins to candidates backed by Trump, but opposed by other GOP heavy hitters.

In some cases, Trump’s endorsement was enough to put them over the top. But they are generally untested, first time candidates.

In Pennsylvania’s open Senate race, Dr. Oz is trailing far behind Democratic candidate John Fetterman, who has found his opponent to be an easy target for social media burns.

As a result, on Thursday the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating from ‘toss up’ to ‘lean Democrat.’

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