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Fox News host Chris Wallace isn’t convinced of Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s assertion that the “civil war” within the Republican Party is “cancelled.”
Speaking with Scott on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” he kept pressuring the congressman to say that the “civil war” is still ongoing.
Wallace opened the interview by playing a clip from last week of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney arguing over whether former President Donald Trump should be playing a role in the GOP’s future.
“Senator, that is not a united party,” he then said to Scott.
The lawmaker replied by contrasting “what’s on TV” with what’s actually happening, especially among the people who really matter, Republican voters.
“If you get out and talk to voters … they’re focused on what the Biden administration is doing. They don’t like open borders, they don’t like killing the Keystone Pipeline, they don’t like men-women sporting events. Those are things that bother people, and they know that the Biden administration is not going to be good for jobs,” Scott said.
“I’m going to make sure that in ‘22, when we have our elections, we’re going to vote on job growth … secure borders … supporting our law enforcement, school choice. That’s where why we’re going to win. That’s how I won my election,” he added. “Each of my elections with an issue election, and that’s how you win. It’s not going to be about what TV is staying about some infighting.”
His point was that minor quibbles within the party are a distraction from the shared desire that all Republicans have to fight back against the left’s disastrous policies — something that can best be accomplished by retaking the House and Senate.
Watch the back-and-forth below:
But Wallace wasn’t convinced.
“This isn’t just TV, senator. President Trump is expected to stake his claim as the continuing leader of the Republican Party in a speech today, but you have top Republican leaders like Liz Cheney, like Mitch McConnell, like Mitt Romney who say the president forfeited that because of his actions after the November election, so let me ask you, is this still Donald Trump’s party?” he said.
That’s not true.
Appearing on Fox News days earlier, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d “absolutely” support Trump were he to win the GOP presidential primary in 2024.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney said last week that he’s “sure” Trump will continue to play a role in the party. While he didn’t outright say he’d support this, he didn’t voice any opposition to it either.
Cheney is in fact the one and only high-profile Republican who’s voiced any vociferous opposition to Trump maintaining a role in the party.
‘He wins in a landslide’: Mitt Romney’s reluctant prediction about Trump 2024 https://t.co/7Y6bXbNMTF pic.twitter.com/DJcesYDdPY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 24, 2021
Responding to Wallace’s second question, Scott didn’t say outright whether the Republican Party is “still Donald Trump’s party” but did tout the former president’s efforts to help the GOP win big in next year’s elections.
“I talked to President Trump about a week ago and I told him … my job is to help Republican senators win all across the country, and he made a commitment to me to help me do that,” the senator said.
“I believe he’s going to be helpful, but I think other Republicans are going to be helpful…. That’s why we’re going to win in ‘22. We’re on the right side of the issues, and teh Democrats are on the wrong side of the issue.”
His point again was that Republicans are united on what matters. Wallace of course wasn’t pleased by Scott’s answer, and so he decided to go in an entirely different direction by asking the senator whether the 2020 election was legit.
“Let’s talk about Trump and his continuing hold on the party. This is kind of a loyalty oath for the Trump party. Let me ask you a straight-forward question, senator. Did Joe Biden win this election fair and square?” he asked.
It’s not clear what the relevance of that question was to the discussion.
Scott nevertheless fired back by admitting that Biden is the president fair and square, but also acknowledging that this doesn’t negate the need for lawmakers to instill confidence in America’s election system by strengthening it.
“We need to have voter ID. You need to prove citizenship. You need to show your Social Security. You can’t have unmonitored ballot boxes. You’ve got to do the things that make all Americans feel comfortable that we should have a 100% participation and zero percent fraud,” he said.
At this point, Wallace finally gave up his questions about Trump and steered his line of questioning to other topics, namely some of the voting laws being pursued by GOP-led legislatures across the country.
His original line of questioning was inspired by what Scott wrote in a memo he’d delivered to all his GOP colleagues a couple days earlier.
Sen. Rick Scott drops bold CPAC prediction: GOP will flip at least 4 blue seats in 2022 https://t.co/IVEUTaCmx2 pic.twitter.com/wfPiuwgVIB
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 27, 2021
“The Republican Civil War is now cancelled. The long running impeachment show is now over. This political theater should have been held at the other end of Washington in the Kennedy Center instead of the US Capitol. It was an unserious circus. It’s over. Now it’s time to look ahead,” he reportedly wrote.
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