Speed Reads

Great Scott!

Rick Scott officially challenges Mitch McConnell for leadership of Senate Republicans

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) will officially challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to lead Senate Republicans in the coming legislative term, announcing on Tuesday his intent to unseat the longtime top Republican at Wednesday's party leadership vote. 

In a "dear colleagues" letter, Scott framed his bid as an alternative to the GOP status quo. Without invoking McConnell by name, Scott wrote that while voters want politicians who will "tell them what we will do when we are in charge," Republicans have thus far "continued to elect leadership who refuses to do that, and elicits attacks on anyone that does."

Last spring Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, unveiled an 11-point "Plan to Rescue America" that included tax hikes on low-income earners, prompting McConnell to declare that "we will not have, as part of our agenda, a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years. That will not be part of the Republican Senate majority agenda."

Scott's challenge to McConnell comes on the heels of intense pressure by former President Donald Trump for Republicans to reject the man frequently regarded as one of the most consequential legislators of his generation. "It's Mitch McConnell's fault," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform after last week's midterm losses. "He blew the midterms, and everyone despises him and his otherwise lovely wife, Coco Chow!" He later called Scott "highly underrated" and said he would be a "much better" leader than McConnell.