Sen. Rick Scott says GOP will flip at least four Dem Senate seats in 2022
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., defends former President Trump's record at CPAC and says there is no Republican civil war.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Sen. Rick Scott predicted on Friday that the Republican Party will flip blue Senate seats to red in at least four states in the 2022 midterms, after earlier this week declaring that the civil war within the GOP is "canceled."
"I think we've got opportunities across the country," Scott, the junior U.S. senator representing Florida, said in an interview with Fox News. "Clearly, we're going to pick up Georgia. We're going to pick up Arizona. We're gonna pick up New Hampshire, we're going to pick up Nevada. But I think we have opportunities all across the country. There's 14 Democrat seats up and I think we can get quite a few of them
Scott is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which means he's the person charged with bringing the GOP back to the Senate majority in 2022. He spoke to Fox News shortly after his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., told Fox News on Friday that he believes Republicans can beat at least four Senate elections in different states in 2022.
Scott's been put in an awkward position with primary threats against GOP incumbents by former President Donald Trump. Scott's repeatedly said that the NRSC will support incumbents. But sticking to that position could mean that the organization is put at odds with a former president who is still highly popular among the GOP base and spending resources that could be spent in a general election.
In an effort to diffuse the intra-party tension, Scott sent a memo to GOP officials voters and activists earlier this week declaring that the GOP civil war is "canceled."
"Some of you voted for President Trump enthusiastically, some with reservations, and some with great reluctance," Scott wrote. "It doesn’t matter."
He doubled-down on that stance in his conversation with Fox News Friday.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaks to the media after casting his ballot at State Farm Arena on October 21, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Warnock beat former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., in a Jan. 5 runoff election to become Georgia's first Black senator. He's up for reelection in 2022. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
"The civil war is canceled. The Republican civil war is canceled," he said. "We're gonna focus on the issues. If you look all across the country what people are talking about is they're talking about where are we going? They're not talking about where we've been."
He added: "We're not going back to dial-up internet. We're not going back to flip phones and typewriters. We're going back to, where can we go in the future? What can we do to make sure we get a majority."
Scott specifically said that the GOP will take back the Senate by focusing "on who the Democrats are, who the Republicans are. The Democrat Party has been taken over by socialism. That's not where America is. We're gonna focus on job creation. The Democrats aren't. We're gonna focus on school choice. Clearly, the Democrats don't even wanna open the schools."
Scott's message was echoed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., in an interview with Fox News Friday.
Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., waves to supporters along with his wife Gabrielle Giffords, second from right, and daughters, Claire Kelly, left, and Claudia Kelly, second from left, during an election night event Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Tucson, Ariz. Kelly is up for reelection in 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
"Those who are -- seem fairly invested in this whole concept of a Republican civil war -- which I think is a D.C. thing. You can come here to see there isn't a civil war. Our voters have no interest in going back," he said. "They want to go forward."
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. told Fox News that he will be willing to back primary challenges against incumbent Republican senators in 2022. He refused to name a specific seat, but said there are "plenty" of incumbent Republicans who could be challenged and he would support.
"I don't think we have to blindly support, you know, establishment candidates that don't do anything," Trump Jr., said. "I think that's a mistake and I think we've seen too much of that from the establishment where they blindly throw cash, time, money and energy to help failing candidates who have no charisma, no personality, no political chops, get over the line simply because they've been there a few years. That's the kind of nonsense that has to go, and I think it will."
CPAC continues Saturday with another full slate of speakers and panels. It will conclude Friday when former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address.
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