Sen. Rick Scott: Media ‘Vultures’ Hyping Fictional GOP Rift With McConnell

Sen. Rick Scott: Media 'Vultures' Hyping Fictional GOP Rift With McConnell Sen. Rick Scott: Media 'Vultures' Hyping Fictional GOP Rift With McConnell

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

By Jay Clemons | Thursday, 08 September 2022 07:39 PM EDT

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has dismissed rumors of a rift between him and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blaming what he called media "vultures" for manufacturing a pre-midterms distraction.

While addressing the NRSC distribution email list this week, Scott wrote, "As is predictable for this time of year, the vultures in the left-wing news media — The Washington Post, NY Times, CNN and the like — are roaming about trying to divide and defeat Republicans."

Scott added that "as always, they are being aided by the typical Washington 'anonymous sources' whose cowardice is only exceeded by their ignorance."

McConnell has been the subject of conservative criticism in recent weeks — including from former President Donald Trump — for allegedly minimizing the November chances of GOP Senate candidates such as Herschel Walker (Georgia), Dr. Mehmet Oz (Pennsylvania), Blake Masters (Arizona), J.D. Vance (Ohio) and Adam Laxalt (Nevada).

McConnell recently questioned the "candidate quality" of the above Senate Republican hopefuls, all of whom have endorsement ties to Trump.

There's a lot riding on this year's Senate elections, given how the Democrats (along with two independents) and Republicans currently hold 50 seats apiece.

According to Real Clear Politics, incumbent Democrats are expected to carry Senate races in Connecticut (Richard Blumenthal), Washington (Patty Murray) and Colorado (Michael Bennet).

Conversely, Republicans are slated to prevail in Florida (Sen. Marco Rubio), Alaska (Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Missouri (candidate Eric Schmitt) and Alabama (candidate Katie Britt).

For other Senate races, however, Real Clear Politics has the opposing parties essentially operating in "toss-up" territory.

Speaking with Politico last month, Scott acknowledged that he and McConnell had a "strategic disagreement" about funding certain candidates.

At the same time, Scott said passionate exchanges are common among party leaders at the height of an election cycle.

"The fact is that Republicans are on the verge of taking over both the Senate and the House, and the left is panicking," Scott wrote in the NRSC email.

Part of that so-called panic might involve the power of Trump endorsement rallies in the coming weeks.

"This year, because President Trump endorsed in many primaries, some of the self-appointed smart guys in Washington demanded that I insert the NRSC into primaries against his candidates,” Scott said. "This would have meant spending dollars raised by Republican donors against Republican candidates."

According to a data analysis from The New York Times, Scott's NRSC raised approximately $181.5 million by the end of July — but spent 95% of the funds.

"Democrats have consistently outraised Republicans in digital fundraising," Scott wrote in the email. "This had to change — and the only way to change it was to make early investments to get new donors, which we did and it worked."

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