President Donald Trump traveled to southwest Florida with a message for the people of Fort Myers, who are recovering from Hurricane Irma: Rick Scott for Senate.
Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence flew to Florida on Thursday morning to visit Fort Myers and Naples, two Gulf Coast cities that Irma tore through earlier this week.
Trump acknowledged the devastation in brief remarks he delivered in Fort Myers ahead of a briefing from state and local officials.
“We’re gonna see some more of it now, unfortunately,” he lamented.
“I have to say that your governor — where is our governor here? Rick Scott,” Trump said, pausing for applause of the Republican governor. “The job he’s done is incredible, and I guess I’ve been very lucky because, you know, you have a great governor in Texas; you have a great governor in Florida. The job that Rick has done is being talked about all over.”
Trump offered more praise of Scott, who he has continued to nudge to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018, taking advantage of Thursday’s backdrop of a recovering city.
“I just, again, I have to say that — what do I know? But I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate,” Trump said.
Scott has publicly said he is weighing a Senate run, but he has insisted that he feels little pressure to make an early decision. Trump acknowledged that he’s unsure whether the governor ultimately will run.
“I don’t know what he’s gonna do, but I know that at a certain point it ends for you, and we can’t let it end,” Trump said. “So I hope he runs for Senate. Who knows what he’s gonna do?”
Kevin Robillard contributed to this report.