Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), said “vultures” in the media are trying to divide Republicans after several national news outlets ran stories detailing a feud between Scott and the Senate Minority Leader. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“As you would expect at this time of year, left-leaning media vultures — The Washington Post, NY Times, CNN and others — are roaming around trying to divide and defeat Republicans,” Scott wrote at NRSC email distribution. listing.
“As always, they are aided by the typical Washington ‘anonymous sources’ whose cowardice is only surpassed by their ignorance,” he continued.
In recent months, McConnell and Scott have criticized each other over the party’s campaign strategy, which has only grown as the party’s chances of overthrowing the Senate in November appear to dwindle.
“The fact is, the Republicans are about to take over the Senate and the House, and the left is panicking,” Scott said in the email.
Earlier this year, Scott laid out a controversial policy agenda for whether Republicans take control of the chamber. Republican senators previously said McConnell warned Scott at a February leadership meeting that his program would become a political liability.
The agenda, dubbed “Rescue America,” included proposals that Democrats, who quickly attacked the plan, said could potentially end programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
In August, McConnell noted that Republicans had a better chance of unseating the House than the Senate midway through this year, citing concerns about the “quality of candidates.”
The remark came after several candidates backed by former President Trump won Republican nominations in key Senate battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio.
McConnell has long stressed the importance of eligible candidates, but the NRSC stayed out of this year’s primaries. Scott admitted to Politico late last month that he and McConnell had a “strategic disagreement”, arguing that the party had “great candidates”.
Scott, in his last email, called the NRSC’s main involvement “an urban legend”.
“This year, because President Trump endorsed so many primaries, some of the self-proclaimed smart guys in Washington demanded that I insert the NRSC into the primaries against his candidates,” Scott said. “That would have meant spending dollars raised by Republican donors against Republican candidates.”
Scott has also been criticized for taking a vacation to Italy last month and his costly attempt to expand the NRSC’s online donor pool.
In the email, Scott pushed back against those attacking the new strategy, saying the initiative was “undoubtedly producing a huge return on investment” and noting that it had already brought in more than $11 million and that it would be more valuable in the future.
“Democrats have consistently outperformed Republicans in digital fundraising,” he wrote. “That had to change – and the only way to change that was to make early investments to get new donors, which we did and it worked.”
A New York Times analysis found that Scott’s NRSC raised $181.5 million in late July but spent 95% of it, leaving the committee with far less money than the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm.
In the email, Scott acknowledged that the NRSC had spent more than $45 million on advertising before Labor Day, but argued that early spending was “crucial.”
“Many of our candidates finished bruised primaries with no money in the bank,” Scott wrote. “The NRSC helped our candidates with the early ads, and we’re proud that nearly every candidate ad that ran this summer had NRSC’s help. We will continue to do so until election day.