Scott blasts McConnell, other GOP critics for ‘treasonous’ remarks on candidate quality

Scott blasts McConnell, other GOP critics for ‘treasonous’ remarks on candidate quality

Florida Sen. Rick Scott said he will not tolerate behind-closed-doors trash talking of GOP Senate candidates, attacking those who have openly and privately disparaged the party’s nominees in key races.

Mr. Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, blamed Washington elites for trying to stop Republicans from winning and doing the work of the Democratic National Committee.

“It’s an amazing act of cowardice, and ultimately, it’s treasonous to the conservative cause,” Mr. Scott wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Examiner. “Giving anonymous quotes to help the Washington Post or the New York Times write stories trashing Republicans is the same as working with the Democratic National Committee.”

Mr. Scott characterized the attacks on Senate candidates as elitist. He mentioned no senators or candidates by name, but referred to the non-political achievements of Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, author J.D. Vance in Ohio, and former NFL player Herschel Walker in Georgia.

“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,” Mr. Scott said.

The senator’s comments follow remarks by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell who questioned the quality of candidates the party had going into the midterms.

“There’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” Mr. McConnell said last month. “Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

The Kentucky Republican later hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Walker, Dr. Oz, and North Carolina candidate Rep. Ted Budd, shortly after he made the remarks.

Mr. Scott‘s latest op-ed shows a growing rift between him and Mr. McConnell.

The GOP leader openly rejected Mr. Scott‘s 12-point midterm policy agenda, arguing it would raise taxes.

“We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years,” Mr. McConnell said.

Mr. Scott‘s plan highlights top GOP issues, including education, public safety, and government reforms on a series of programs.