TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sen. Rick Scott of Florida announced he is seeking re-election in 2024.
NBC News reports Scott has announced campaign staff hires and clarified that he will not be running for president, as some speculated.
The announcement comes on the heels of a lackluster 2022 election cycle for Senate Republicans, which Scott oversaw as National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman. This effort culminated in a failed bid for Senate minority leader against Sen. Mitch McConnell.
In his campaign announcement, Scott promised to double-down on efforts to push his “Rescue America” plan, which drew criticism from both sides of the aisle when it was proposed last year.
Both congressional Republican leaders – Sen. McConnell and then-House minority leader Kevin McCarthy – rejected the proposal. McConnell stated the party would not support a plan that raises taxes for the poorest Americans and “sunset[s] Social Security and Medicare within five years.”
“I’m going to continue to push it. I tell people these are my ideas. Let’s start fighting over ideas,” Scott told NBC News, noting the plan is still on his website. “If Democrats have a better way of getting people back to work, it doesn’t seem to be working. Labor participation rates are down. We’re not creating full-time jobs. Look at the job market. All we’re doing for last few months is adding part-time jobs. That’s not a great economy. Inflation: 40-year high. If we did what I put in my plan, then it would be better for Americans, all Americans.”
The White House pushed back against Scott’s statement to NBC News, with deputy press secretary Andrew Bates comparing Scott to House Republicans who push policies that benefit the wealthy.
“Rick Scott is doing the very same thing,” Bates told NBC News. “Tripling down on his ultra MAGA agenda to raise taxes on middle class families and schedule Medicare and Social Security to expire is fundamentally at odds with the wishes of the American people, and President Biden is firmly against it. Instead of selling out working families to rich special interests, the President is fighting to build an economy that works from the bottom up and the middle out.”
Scott’s re-election team includes staff who helped him win two terms as Florida’s governor in 2010 and 2014, as well as his senate seat in 2018. Scott has also tapped advisors from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
NBC News points out that in those three elections, Scott never won by more than a percentage point, and has tapped into his personal fortune to win – spending a combined $149.5 million.
Scott stated the political dynamics in Florida have changed since his last election. Gov. Ron DeSantis – who was also elected by a razor-thin margin in 2018 – coasted to victory in 2022, besting his opponent by nearly 20 points.
“If you look at when I ran in 2010, there are 4.6 million Democrats [registered to vote] in the state and 4 million Republicans,” Scott told NBC News. “Now what’s happened is we have 4.9 million Democrats and 5.2 million Republicans. So every time I’ve won, I’ve won when there were more Democrats than Republicans in the state.”