Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Sunday said Senate GOP leadership “caved” to Democrats on a number of legislative bills over the past year, citing that as one reason Republicans did not perform as well as projected in the midterm elections.
Scott, the chair of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that Republicans “caved in on the debt ceiling, caved in on a gun bill, caved in on a fake infrastructure bill.”
“We [made] it difficult for our candidates,” the senator said. “We can’t do that.”
Scott said Republicans were also not clear on what the party stood for headed into Election Day.
“What do we stand for? What are we hell-bent to get done?” Scott asked. “The leadership in the Republican Senate says, ‘No, you cannot have a plan. We’re just going to run against how bad the Democrats are.’ And, actually, then they cave into the Democrats.”
Democrats beat historical odds to keep their majority in the Senate after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) was projected to win her race, netting them 50 seats. A Georgia runoff in December could net them one more.
Republicans are slightly ahead when it comes to projected race wins in the House, but nearly 20 races are still to be decided.
Some Republican analysts and politicians pinned the blame on GOP nominees aligned with former President Trump for the unexpected losses, saying poorly picked candidates focused on issues in the past, such as unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
On the campaign trail, Democratic candidates cast Republicans as extremists on abortion rights and as threats to democracy.
But they also touted legislative accomplishments such as the infrastructure package passed last year, the Inflation Reduction Act and a bipartisan bill on related to gun laws.
Scott, who had predicted a good night on Election Day, on Sunday said GOP candidates did not have a plan of their own to combat that messaging, relying instead on painting Democrats as radical and pinning blame for high inflation and crime.
He said Republican leadership wanted to “rush through an election because they don’t want to do any assessment of what we have done wrong.”
“We have got to say what are our ideas, and let’s fight over those ideas,” Scott said. “And let’s act like a caucus and win on those ideas.”