Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Sunday refused to rebuke violent rhetoric by former President Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in a heated interview with CBS’s Margaret Brennan.
During an appearance on “Face the Nation,” Brennan asked Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to respond to Trump’s racially tinged statement on Friday in which he called Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the former president’s Transportation secretary, “Coco Chow” and “China loving.”
Brennan also asked Scott whether remarks by Greene during a Trump rally Saturday in which she suggested Democrats were killing Republicans were dangerous.
Scott initially responded by saying that “what we got to do is we got to bring everybody together” before criticizing comments by Vice President Harris and saying that Trump was talking about “unbelievable spending that’s causing inflation hurting the poorest families.”
But Brennan pressed Scott by pointing to yet another part of Trump’s statement in which he said McConnell has a “death wish” for supporting a government funding bill that was supported by Democrats who hold the majority in the Senate.
“But what I quoted you is a phrase saying McConnell ‘has a death wish.’ He said racist things about Elaine Chao. And then ‘They have already started the killings.’ I mean, that’s not a policy dispute, senator. The language is what I’m talking about. Isn’t that dangerous?” Brennan asked.
“I think we all have to figure out how do we start bringing people together and have a common goal to give every American the opportunity to get a great job, their kids to have an education [so] they believe they can be anything and make sure everybody lives in a safe community,” Scott responded.
McConnell and Trump’s relationship has been a rocky one since the former president was in the White House, and Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly lambasted the top Senate Republican, saying he should no longer serve as GOP leader while attacking Chao, referencing her family’s American business that also has dealings in China.
“He has a DEATH WISH,” Trump said of McConnell on Friday after the senator voted for a bill to fund the government through mid-December.
“Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he added, using a term that is considered to be a racial slur.
Scott on CBS declined to say if that language brings people together.
“He look — he likes for, you know, he gives people nicknames. I’m sure he has a nickname for me, all right?” he said of what Trump called Chao. “So you can ask him what he means by his nicknames. … I can try my best to bring people together, and I’m gonna try to bring people together.”
The day after Trump’s post, Greene traveled to Michigan to speak at a rally the former president held in support of his endorsed candidates there.
“I’m not going to mince words with you all. Democrats want Republicans dead, and they have already started the killings,” Greene said.
When Brennan told Scott that Greene’s comments we not true, Scott said he had not heard Greene’s remarks before criticizing Harris for a remark she made at a Democratic National Committee event on Friday when asked about the administration’s response to climate change.
“It is our lowest-income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris said at the event. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity.”
Scott tied Harris’s comment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to Hurricane Ian in his state.
“But it’s also not helpful what the vice president says, when she thinks that FEMA is going to treat people differently based on their skin color,” Scott said on CBS.
Updated 1:13 p.m.