CPAC 2023: Scott returns to feud with McConnell

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

After a month of feuding with President Joe Biden, Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott used his time on the CPAC stage to rekindle his rivalry with a Republican who has grown rather chummy with the commander-in-chief in the new year. 

While still no fan of Biden, Scott reserved the bulk of criticism for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Scott unsuccessfully attempted to supplant in the new Senate. 

“When I took on Sen. McConnell, I knew it would be hard, and I assumed I would have a hard time winning,” Scott said. “But we have to start somewhere. Everyone in Washington said I was nuts, and I might be.  But we can’t put up with this BS anymore.

Scott added, “My belief is that my challenge to Sen. McConnell was not the end of something, it was the beginning of something.”

The goal for Scott, a close ally of former President Donald Trump who is another vocal opponent of McConnell, is simple enough to grasp. He and other like-minded senators want to whittle away at the legacy Republicans who they say have acquiesced too often to the left. 

“It’s not just the Democrats in Washington who are destroying our country,” Scott said. “You have heard the famous quote: ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.’” He added, “Unfortunately, some of the leaders of our old Republican establishment have been in Washington way too long and forgotten why they came here. They’ve gotten used to caving into the Democrats. They do it over and over and over. Instead of the Democrats compromising their liberal principles, they roll over, and compromise our conservative principles.”

Whether one likes or dislikes Scott, there is no debating that he has a skill for crossing the Republican establishment. 

A year ago, just before CPAC, Scott released his 12-point plan to save America, a framework that remains hot-button as Democrats routinely point to it as proof Republicans are out of touch with the poor, the working class, and elderly Americans. 

McConnell has frequently panned the plan and, more recently, has appeared keen on exacting revenge on Scott for having challenged for the position of top Senate Republican. Scott is no longer on the Senate Commerce Committee after McConnell yanked him from service.