Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is launching a nationwide television ad calling for change within the GOP and urging Republicans to “stop caving in” to Democratic demands.
The seven-figure spot features Scott himself addressing his unsuccessful effort to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from his post. He acknowledges that winning that leadership race was always “going to be hard,” before calling on voters to “help us change our party.”
“People told me not to run for Republican leader against Mitch McConnell. They said I wouldn’t win,” Scott says in the ad, which is slated to begin airing later this week. “I knew it was going to be hard, but we gotta start somewhere. Look, we’re on the road to woke socialism and Republicans are just a speed bump.”
“We can’t keep doing the same old thing,” he continues. “It’s time for Republicans to be bold, speak the truth and stop caving in.”
The ad, which was first reported by Fox News, offers the latest sign that Scott is digging in his heels after unsuccessfully challenging McConnell for his post as Senate Republican leader.
Scott, who led the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) through a lackluster 2022 midterm cycle, found himself at odds with McConnell multiple times in the past year over his stewardship of the GOP’s effort to recapture control of the Senate.
One notable dispute came when Scott released a policy agenda that was panned by Democrats and many Republicans, including McConnell. While Scott sought to cast the proposals as his own and not reflective of the broader Republican Party’s positions, he has also argued that the GOP should more proactively map out its priorities.
Scott has also faced criticism from fellow Republicans over his refusal to take a more active role in Senate primaries. His critics say that his strategy ultimately left the party with a handful of controversial and untested nominees, who cost the GOP a chance at winning the Senate majority.
Scott, a former two-term Florida governor, is up for reelection in 2024 and has said that he intends to seek a second term in the Senate.