search
Sections List
American Journal News

Meet the senator who's supposed to help GOP win elections after trying to overturn one

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) was a controversial figure long before editorial boards were calling him ‘unfit for office.’

By Josh Israel - January 14, 2021
Share
Rick Scott

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is facing calls to resign his new position as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee over his role in last week’s attempt to block certification of the results of voting in the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election and keep President-elect Joe Biden out of the White House.

The editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel lambasted Scott last week as “unfit for office” and one of “Florida’s enemies of democracy” after he joined seven other senators to vote to set aside President-elect Joe Biden’s electors — even after a violent mob of pro-Donald Trump extremists launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“By objecting to Joe Biden’s electors,” the editorial board wrote, Scott and the other members of Congress who objected to certification “voted with Trump’s mob and against democracy.”

A spokesperson said this week that Scott has no plans to step down as chair of the NRSC, the Senate campaign fundraising arm of the Republican Party.

Several major corporations are saying they will not continue to provide political action committee donations to the lawmakers who tried to block certification of the election results. This could potentially cause problems for Scott, as he tries to raise money to finance his party’s drive to regain the Senate majority it lost in the 2020 election.

Scott has long been a controversial figure.

Prior to his political career, he was a health care corporation executive. During his time as CEO of Columbia/HCA, the company committed massive Medicare fraud. He denied any knowledge of the fraud and was not personally charged with any crime, but the company was fined $1.7 billion after he stepped down, the largest such fine in history at the time.

Scott was narrowly elected governor of Florida in 2010, spending nearly $75 million of his own money on the race and beating Democrat Alex Sink by 61,550 votes out of over 5 million cast.

During his eight years as governor, he repeatedly made national news for his efforts to suppress the right to vote. The editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times in 2018 called him “Florida’s Jim Crow governor.”

He blocked the restoration of voting rights for nearly all Black citizens who had completed sentences after felony convictions. The Palm Beach Post noted, “During his nearly eight years as governor, Scott restored the voting rights of twice as many whites as blacks and three times as many white men as black men. Scott restored rights to a higher percentage of Republicans and a lower percentage of Democrats than any of his predecessors since 1971.”

In 2012, he ordered a massive — and illegal — purge of Florida’s voter rolls. The lists of alleged noncitizens that his administration provided to localities were so riddled with errors that even dozens of Republican registrars refused to comply with Scott’s orders.

He also pushed to reduce voting hours and make it harder to register to vote, suppressing Democratic and minority participation and forcing many people to wait in line for six hours to vote on Election Day, the Orlando Sentinel reported in 2013.

Scott earned high ratings from the National Rifle Association, enacting “stand your ground” legislation that made it easier for Floridians to get away with shooting people and signing a law that made it illegal for doctors to ask their patients if they owned firearms.

Term-limited in 2018, he challenged incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for his seat. Scott narrowly prevailed, beating Nelson by just over 10,000 votes. Even in that race, he baselessly accused Democrats of trying to steal the election, telling Fox News, “Senator Nelson is clearly trying to commit fraud to try to win this election.”

Though as a Senate candidate he rejected the label “Donald Trump Republican,” Scott voted with Trump nearly 85% of the time, backing his Supreme Court nominees and voting to acquit him on all charges during his first impeachment trial.

He also said during the 2018 Senate race that Washington lawmakers ought to spend more time focusing on their jobs. But some of his actions after he took office suggest it was not clear what job he believed he was supposed to be doing.

In October 2019, he penned a letter to six states’ governors to tell them how they should be doing their jobs. “I am concerned for the financial wellbeing of your state and the burgeoning share the taxpayers of [your state] would have to contribute to pay down your debts,” he scolded the elected leaders of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, while bragging about his accomplishments as governor of Florida.

In January 2020, although he was not running for president, Scott paid to run his attack ads in Iowa against Joe Biden, baselessly accusing the Democrat of corruption. In the weeks before the November election, he ran more ads attacking Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, falsely claiming they were in favor of Medicare for All, packing the Supreme Court, defunding law enforcement, and socialism.

And although in the 2020 election Americans elected Biden and Harris, kept control of the House in Democratic hands, and voted in a Democratic majority in the Senate, Scott signaled this week that he plans to use the same attacks again in 2022 in his efforts to win back control of the Senate.

“Over the next two years, the Democrats are going to try to do a whole bunch of things that the public doesn’t want,” he told Fox News. “They don’t want packing the Supreme Court. They don’t want higher taxes and more regulation. They don’t want the police defunded. I think the Democrats now have the ability to go do some things. I think it’s going to help define them and I think it’s going to help us have a big win in 2022.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Exposed: Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde’s opulent California lifestyle

Exposed: Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde’s opulent California lifestyle

By Jesse Valentine - March 01, 2024
Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

By Sofia Resnick, States Newsroom - February 28, 2024
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024