Sen. Rick Scott on Sunday declined to call the GOP the party of former President Donald Trump and acknowledged President Joe Biden was “absolutely” the legitimate winner of the 2020 White House race.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Scott (R-Fla.) — the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — reiterated his message that “the Republican civil war is canceled.”
But Scott’s remarks to host Chris Wallace also underscored the tense intraparty disputes he is navigating as he leads the GOP effort to retake the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.
Asked by Wallace whether the Republican Party is “still Donald Trump’s party,” Scott replied that the GOP is “the voters’ party” and “always has been.”
Scott said he spoke to Trump “about a week ago, and I told him, ‘This is my job. My job is to help Republican senators win all across the country.’”
The NRSC chair reported that the former president “made a commitment to me to help me do that,” adding: “I believe he’s going to be helpful, but I think other Republicans are going to be helpful.”
And despite Trump’s threats to support primary challenges to certain GOP officials — including those as high-ranking as Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), who is up for reelection in 2022 — Scott stressed that he would back incumbent Republicans in the midterm races.
“I am supporting every Republican incumbent in all the Senate races. So I believe all of our incumbents are going to win,” he said.
Scott also did not hesitate to declare that Biden had won the presidency fair and square last November, although he did say there were “people that believe we’ve got to focus on making sure people feel comfortable that elections are fair.”
Scott’s interview came after he appeared Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, where he said in a speech that he would not “mediate” debates among Republicans over Trump’s role in the party.
Trump is scheduled to speak at the conference on Sunday, delivering his first major address since leaving office amid the fallout of last month’s insurrection at the Capitol.