Rick Scott rejects media narrative on rhetoric, condemns violence but calls for renewed trust in elections

Senator Rick Scott of Florida said it’s lawmakers’ responsibility to make voters more “comfortable” with elections in a recent interview.

Scott appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday ahead of the coming midterm elections as host Dana Bash asked for his reaction to the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.

“It’s disgusting. This violence is horrible. That’s happened. We had a door knocker in Florida that was attacked. I mean, this stuff has to stop,” Scott answered, linking Pelosi’s assault to the increase in political violence in the nation. “One thing I did when I took over the NSC a year-and-a-half ago is, I went to the Federal Election Commission to say, could our candidates and our senators use their campaign dollars to pay for security? Because, as you know, House and Senate members don’t have security, most of them, outside of D.C.” This statement came on the heels of House congressional members being newly allotted up to $10,000 to bolster their home security.

(Video: CNN)

Bash reminded Scott that CNN found conspiratorial posts concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 ‘fraudulent’ election on Pelosi’s assailant’s Facebook page, and played the senator a clip of the president’s remark on the matter.

“It’s one thing to condemn the violence, but you can’t condemn the violence unless you condemn those people who continue to argue the election was not real, that it’s being stolen, that all the — all the malarkey that’s being put out there to undermine democracy,” President Joe Biden said.

Bash asked Scott if he thought the president was right, and in response, Scott reiterated that the violence must be condemned before addressing how to ameliorate the distrust many voters have in our current political system.

“I think what we have to do is, one, we have to condemn the violence, and then we have to do everything we can to get people — make sure people feel comfortable about these elections,” Scott said. “We have got to do everything we can to get people comfortable that this election in nine days is going to be free and fair, that people’s votes are all going to be counted fairly, they’re not going to be diluted.”

When pressed about changing the tone in which elected officials communicate in order to mitigate conflict, Scott chose to focus on shoring up the election process. “Dana, I think what’s important is everybody do everything we can to make these elections fair,” Scott replied.

“We have got Hillary Clinton saying the ’24 elections could be stolen. We have got Stacey Abrams saying she didn’t — she didn’t lose. You know, so my job is do everything I can to get people to feel comfortable that these elections are fair and then tell people, get out to vote, go be a poll watcher,” he continued. He correctly pointed out the recent warning of a stolen election in 2024 by Hillary Clinton, or the denial of election results by Stacey Abrams do not aid in constructing stronger faith in the procedure.

Scott, who voted against the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral slate, but has maintained from the onset that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president, went on to cast doubt in previous elections by suggesting that states should implement more voting reform in order to assuage the electorate’s anxieties of the coming elections.

“And when we have the opportunity, let’s make our election laws safer. Let’s make sure that you have voter I.D., you don’t have ballot harvesting, you have monitored ballot box. That makes people feel more comfortable that the elections are going to be fair,” Scott insisted.

Before moving on, Bash made sure to confirm the 2020 election results once more. “And just to be clear — I want to move on — but there is no evidence that they weren’t fair in 2020.”


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