tv Campaign 2022 NRSC Chair Rick Scott on Midterms CSPAN June 25, 2022 3:06am-4:09am EDT
considered by the senate. >> good morning, i am linda feldmann with the christian science monitor. our guest is senator rick ott of order, chair of the nrsc. welcome. senator scott rew up in north kansas city missouri and graduated from that university of missouri kansas city then a school at southern methodist university. he entered politics, winning two terms as governor of florida by this much. >> compared to dr. oz who was a
landslide. >> and winning a seat in the senate. now as nrsc chair he has the fun assignments of helping republicans take control of the senate in a cycle that should be good for his party. welcome. now for the ground rules. we are on the record. lee's no life blocking or tweeting. -- please no life blocking, live blocking or tweeting. we will email pictures and a rough transcript to all reporters here after the breakfast ends. if you would like to ask questions please wave at me and i will call on as many of you as time permits. chairman scott, if you would like to make brief opening remarks the floor is yours. >> thank you for the opportunity. i am very fortunate, born to a
single mom. born in illinois. my mom told me thank god you live in the u.s. because you can be anything. i believed her. i was able to have a variety of careers. i served in the navy. i was at the tail end of the vietnam war. i did not go to vietnam, i was stationed on the east coast. then i finished law school. i always wanted to be in business so i finally figured that out. i bought my first -- my first business was a donut shop when i got out of the navy. after i was a lawyer i started a hospital company. then i dead a variety of manufacturing companies. if you have a corvette, i make the -- for the corvette. if you have eight toyota tacoma i make the truck beds. if you have a tractor, i made your chain.
then i ran for governor. to the shock of everybody we were able to win the primary and the general. in the primary i did not have any endorsements. i ran on a job platform. what i am most proud of as governor is we had millions of jobs. we went from a state that was losing people and jobs to a state that was one of the leading straight -- states. i ran for the senate, everybody told me we could not win that. we were able to win and after 3.5 years at the head of the central committee, 21 seats up on our side, 14 on theirs, we are raising money, have good candidates. the biden approval numbers are bad so i think we have every opportunity to get a majority. i think the race will probably
come down to making sure we can keep our states in wisconsin, pennsylvania and north carolina and pick up georgia, nevada and new hampshire and arizona. but we have opportunities in other states, colorado, washington, some other states, connecticut, if we do a good job and raise money, i think we have a big opportunity. separate from that i am completely on my own not plan -- part of the nrsc. we just updated 12 points. michael is to create a conversation about where this country ought to go. a country that i grew up and where everything was doable. >> thank you. i will start with two questions and then we will move to reporters. how -- has the january 6 hearings hope you're caused or
heard it or is it a wash? >> i think it is irrelevant. these hearings that they are having, nobody is watching them. >> we had a 20 million watching the first nice. >> i am not going to ask anybody in my state about it. it was not a normally organized committee, and it is just out to attack trump so i think it is irrelevant. >> what is your latest thinking about how you will do in a november? >> i think we have every reason to believe we can win but here is the deal, it comes down to this. we have to raise good money, we have to -- unfortunately for the country item is doing a horrible job -- biden is doing a horrible
job. inflation, supply chain problems baby formula shortages, critical race area, defund the police. most of it will be about inflation. when i was governor i always thought about three things most important. number one, your livelihood,. number to your kids education. number three, safety. in this case inflation, gas prices, shortages,. you have to be -- you have to run a good race. you have to show up. i was able to win hispanic votes because i showed up. hispanics are coming our way because the democrats are not good for them. as long as we explained we care about your faith, jobs, kids
education and you being safe i think hispanics will vote with us. we all know november 8. >> one more on january 6, do you consider joe biden the legitimately elected president of the u.s.? >> yes, absolutely. >> when is the last time you saw donald trump? >> probably six or eight weeks ago. i talked to him. >> how often? >> every 2-3 weeks. he is interested in senate races. he is trying to be helpful. as you know, he has endorsed a lot of races. michael is the he continues to be helpful. he has been helpful on the fundraising of the nrsc.
>> what else do you talk about? how the races are going? >> mostly about the races. he loves politics. i am trying to think. my wife and i had dinner with he and his wife february at mar-a-lago. they talk about other stuff. he doesn't ask me if you should run? . but you have to assume he is going to run. he is probably running but -- >> could you speak up a little bit?
>> yes just let me know. i have no idea if donald trump is running. has he suggested to any of you that he is not? >> all right. john, from newsmax. >> thank you for coming. first is a follow-up. i would probably ask this to any republican. who would you prefer donald trump or ron desantis? >> i don't know. >> you don't have a preference? my other question for you, you mentioned the state of connecticut, which is my home state and which is not elected a republican senator in many
years. >> i think the election will be a referendum on biden. right now, you do not see many candidates wanting to show up at a press conference with joe biden. the numbers are horrible. they are not good anywhere in the country, including in connecticut. i think that this is they here if you want to beat a democrat, -- they already have to run ads in connecticut. patty is running ads already. they are already attacking candidates in washington. democrats know how bad this is.
they see the same poll numbers icy and -- i see. he is in worse shape than obama was. it is a race between two people. there will be a primary on the republican side so they have to talk about issues people care about. they can't just be the other person is bad. you have to tell people what you are going to accomplish if you get elected. i think we have good people running. we will see. >> mike from cnn. >> i talked to a lot of missouri republicans who are concerned that eric brightens -greitens. what is your level of concern about eric greitens capability
to win the election? >> i am not getting involved in any open primaries. i think missouri will make a good choice. i think whoever they choose will be a republican senator from missouri. there is no reason to believe we will not when missouri. we have good people running so we will see what happens. i will let the voters decide. let me give you my background. in 2010i had no endorsements. i was completely new and i went and explain why i should be the new governor and i was able to tell message. whether it is eric smith or billy long or eric brightens -- eric greitens. whoever is going to have the best message. >> did you think that digital video he released was a good idea? >> i do not see it but what i heard about it i do not think we
should be promoting any violence. >> you have eric greitens and herschel walker who both have serious allegations of domestic violence. walker has said he holds himself accountable for behavior words his ex-wife yet are you concerned that's these candidates heard the parties at brand? >> i think voters will make a choice. herschel has been very honest and upfront about his background and the voters are going to make a choice. i think -- has not been upfront. if you look at warnick's voting record -- merger is still a republican state. i think herschel is going to win.
that will not bode well for candidates this year. >> background of the matter? >> i think it is important. people want to see who you are. look, in these races, you are going to get attacked. you are always going to get attacked for your background. what is most important is to tell people who you are and be honest and upfront with who you are. if you have made mistakes, explained what you learned from them. >> rick from abc. >> i heard the name -- the last couple weeks. governor of florida. [inaudible] the ability to do gun-control.
based on what you have seen, are you prepared to support the bill ? >> no i voted against it last night. we just got the text. i want to review it, i think details matter. i put together groups of people that came in and a very transparent manner and we had about 30 people came in, mental health experts, education experts and law enforcement, and they gave me their ideas and i proposed them and worked through the legislative process with the legislature. i am going to look at this. here is my -- i am not interested in taking away second amendment rights. i believe in estate rights. i believe states are where most
seven. once something passes it is harder to change. we have to be careful about doing things nationally. >> your initial vote [inaudible] >> we just got it an hour before. >> is your primary concern about state rights? >> that is one reason. i just think we have to be careful about i am not going to vote to take away second amendment rights. i do believe states -- i just want to get back to states having laboratories. what might be a fit for florida -- i also look at things as something might fit for a. of time and things change -- for
a period of time and then things change. >> [inaudible] >> i believed him. you have to go back and look at it and get feedback from people. >> reporter from npr. >> speaking of endorsements, how valuable do you feel trump's endorsement has been? and the sentence is not asking for his endorsement for his reelection -- desantis is not asking for endorsement? >> i think if you are running for the u.s. senate most people would want to get his endorsement but you would not want to read your whole campaign just on that. he has been helpful to people but you have to to go run on
issues that are important to your stay. >> you said you think joe biden is the legitimate president. i'm assuming you reject trump's allies that the election was stolen from him. >> i do believe when you go around the country, people have beliefs that -- they are concerned about whether we have good election laws. i went through this as governor. we are constantly trying to figure out how to improve the election laws. whenever you did everybody called you names. so in this role, what i am trying to do, we have dissented the new election laws in five states. then we are doing what i did in florida. one of the reasons why we were able to prevail in the recount in 2018 as we already hired 1000
lawyers and trained 7000 volunteers. it is not just you have to have the right laws, you have to get involved to make sure they are enforced rights. you have to volunteer to make sure you watch and do this stuff. the more oversight the better job people do. if you want the elections to be secure, you are part of that. go volunteer. make sure they are secure. i hear people are worried. about whether their votes gets diluted. >> [inaudible] >> we are addressing it. the way i am addressing it is this. this is what i did in my race in 2018 how i tried to work hard to
make sure the election was fair. this is what i have done is the chair of the nrsc. schumer wants to get rid of -- [inaudible] we want no fraud. that is what i'm going to keep trying to do. >> [inaudible] that there was not any significant fraud found by all those judges who looked at all of those cases? do you ever push back against that? >> when somebody comes to me i say go back and it show me where it happened. right after the 20 election on homeland security we had a hearing. we had somebody from pennsylvania, wisconsin and nevada. the trumpet lawyer came from nevada. he said trump plus by 33,000
votes. he said there is this many people who voted twice. 130 something eldon people. thousand people. was it to the city council race where they went and showed people in a las vegas where they did not have a right to vote in the primary and they throughout the election in 2020? there was one there. so what i tell people is go show me. i said that all along. i went and i explained in a 2018 what was happening and my race. i x plane to to everybody. explained it to everybody. the media supported me because i explained it. that is what we have to do.
it's does not happen as much but it still happens. i had a call last week from somebody and that's what i tell them. >> a call from who? >> voters. >> they believe the election was stolen? >> they say at a couple different ways. they say oh, i think there was fraud. they are concerned the next election won't matter. i say here is what i am doing. if you have a better idea tell me. you have to be involved, either do it at your precinct. you can go and monitor the election. do it. >> do you think republicans will respect the result of an election they lose? >> absolutely. so, you always think you are going to win when you are running. i have two daughters. and
one of them was so mad. this stuff where they try to go to the courts. she was furious. i think people want to know that it is fair. i think that is what they want. >> donald trump into the course after he lost? >> i think everybody has our rights. a right. you have a right to go, but that is it. you do not have a right to guarantee success. we were ready to defend our case. i think it is important. we are doing the same thing at the nrsc. what we are doing there is working with lawyers across the country and training volunteers so if somebody -- if we believe
somebody is doing the wrong think we are going to be ready. i think that is good for everybody. >> speaking of excepting election results, the republican party in texas does not accept the result of the 2020 election. do you talk to each other? do you try to find consent on this? my second question -- >> i have not talked to them. every state party has a right to make any decision they want. my focus is to make sure we do not have -- senate races. i helped raise money for the races. >> many people are worried about the election outcome and security. >> that is the decision you
make. how many times have people asked democrats about -- not accepting her election? there are people that forever reason are not comparable with lust. oss. i never read any articles that say people are asking democrats what stacey abrams said. she still does not believe she lost. >> a question about the santos and trump. do you think it will be good for the party if both candidates run or do you think the santos should not run a trump? >> i am going to focus on 2022. >> i talked to him about almost
every race. my advice as you know, it would be nice if no one endorsed. let's the voters decide. i beat the whole establishment when i ran in 2018. >> what does he say to that when you say that? >> on a different subject, what is your reaction to the reports proposal for a federal gas tax holiday? >> i think the democrats realize they are in deep trouble. their policies are a bit horrible. i think that it is like releasing from the federal reserve.
it has very little impact. >> would you feel supported? >> we have a gas to pay for things so if you are going to cut the gas tax then you have to cut what we spend for it. it is not like there was no impact here. if you cut revenues you have to cut expenses. >> i understand you have concerns with the proposal but at the end of the day do you think you would vote about the federal tax? >> are you going to cut the cost the same way. the gas tax -- in florida, our gas tax goes to build roads and airports. if you cut the gas tax we are not going to get federal revenues for the gas tax. what expenses are we going to cut out? >> if the gas tax is expende is suspended is that going
to be hard to bring it back? >> i put out a bill yesterday that i think people ought to go back to work. if you are able-bodied, have young children at home or disabled dependent, you wants to get back to work. they waived that in 2020 on the food stamps. we have to get people back to work. there are lots of examples where people never want to go back and do what the law was. >> caitlin from cbs. >> court decision on abortion rights. is this something that ran candidates are going to be running on? do you think they should be running on the idea that row is
likely to be overturned? >> i am pro-life. i completely disagree with where the democrats are where they want to be able to have abortions until birth and you do not have to keep the baby alive. workers will have to perform abortions and we'll pay for abortions. i do not agree with them. i believe the country cherishes life. i think candidates will make good choices. at that nrsc we have done some polling to show people where the public is. the public believe there ought to be reasonable restrictions and reasonable exceptions and they completely reject where the democrats are. >> do you think that republicans should be pushing policies that would help women and families after they give birth? republicans are the pro-life
party. they have been criticized for a lot of policies especially in states that do not support families. do you think rep publicans should be talking about measures that will help women bring children to term? >> i think we ought to do everything we can to help families and help promote adoption as an alternative. we ought to do everything we can to bring life into the world. that sounds really good. you have to figure out how you do it in a manner that you can pay for it and it is logical but the concept of helping builds families is important. >> a child care tax credit, or different kinds of incentives or tax breaks to help families? >> anything we can do -- not anything but i think we ought to be doing things to help promote families. it is a basic way we bring good
people up in this country and so i think we ought to be supporting them and wait ought . >> are you happy with the 15 weeks law or should it be more like a texas law? >> i think every staple want to do it differently. >> as a pro-life person that means somebody up to 15 weeks of pregnancy category? >> -- some but he have the baby and they cannot take care of it it would be adopted. that would be my goal. but i believe there ought to be reasonable exceptions and reasonable restrictions. >> no exception for rape and inset? >> i believe there should be.
filing any lawsuits. i do not know of any. i do believe if you find people are violating the law, if you -- and every state is organized differently but if the supervisor is doing the wrong thing and you cannot get them to do the right thing then you have to go to the court read i completely agree with that. that is one of the reasons why what we are doing is organizing lawyers around the country to make sure we watch how these are done. it comes down to candidates have to do their job. you have to show up and monitor these supervisor elections. if you cannot get them to do their job. >> [inaudible] >> i think the fort logical ones are georgia nevada arizona new hampshire. we have unbelievable candidates
already in the state of washington. we have great people running in new hampshire and arizona. i'm sorry, colorado. but those are the logical four bytes there might be more. i have been doing this for 12 years so i am not and expert on elections. >> i want to go back to georgia and you said a couple omens ago that herschel walker has been [inaudible] candid about stuff. other areas not forthcoming about. revelations about his record, children he was not talking
about publicly. i wanted to ask you if there was a [inaudible] >> i am not an expert on everything but the weight and was explained -- the way i heard it, no one hid anything. i think every candidate has to be transparent. every voter needs to have good information. i think ultimately the voters will make a choice. it is not a choice for the nrsc. the voters in georgia get to pick who they want. >> herschel walker [inaudible] things like this would come out and damage reputations.
did you have any concerns like that during the primary? >> no. i think herschel will be a good candidate and run a good race. you guys know what races are like. there is always going to be some truthful and not truthful. and then the voters will make a choice. voters in georgia will make a choice. i think herschel could win. if you look at right now, he is leading and most of the election polling out there. i think people like herschel. he is a many that present himself well. and warnick's issue is that he voted with schumer. that is not where georgia is. >> micah from newsmax. >> my question goes out to that
texas platform. what would you say, states like washington and connecticut which are known to both provide and, how does the republican party pulling voters in states like that when they are seeing a platform in texas that is much for the right then they may be used to? >> i think take washington. it depends who wins the best race. it is going to be an election about what they want, who they want to represent them in washington. i do not think it was been talking about what happened in other states. they will talk about gas prices,
baby formula shortages, defunding the police. that is what the election will be about. >> kate. >> last night there was a primary and alabama numbers that's the republicans in the senate were split on it some endorsing katie and some endorsing mo brooks. what was your take away from last night? >> katie ran a good race. if you look at the primary, different people were up at different times. katie ran a good primary and won. i think she will be a very good u.s. senator. i think she is reflecting what people in alabama care about. >> what did you make of the changes in a trump's endorsement? did you think it was a factor at all and her when or brooks loss?
do you have any takeaways? >> i have not seen a poll on that. i'm sure trump is happy that's katie one since he endorsed her. >> [inaudible] he also specifically -- abnormal lifestyle choice. that's kind of language is proving that [inaudible] during his years in office. i am wondering, do you worry that that kind of language is more conservative -- could be
problematic? >> the republican party is inclusive so i do not -- [inaudible] >> would you say that language is inclusive? >> no. >> [inaudible] >> and my role what i try to do is i do not tell people what they ought to run on. i give them information about -- we do a lot of polls and we show people where the public is. they arched to run on issues that are important to them. i won in a 2010 because my opponent did not talk about the economy and i did. i had a plan to change the job
market in florida and he did not. that is how i won. and was not was some but he was saying in some other state. i talked about what was important to the people in florida in 2010. in a tournament he too, there will be different issues -- in 2022 there will be different issues. >> the january 6 committee has said part of the reason for why they are holding a hearing is because they want to prevent -- from happening again. to what extent -- what do you see are the main factors that led to january 6? >> they actually wanted to do something they would have a normally organized committee to do it and they did not. the way pelosi set that up, it was tainted from the time it started.
i do not think it is legitimate that she was trying to do anything other than teams republicans. what happened on january 6, i was there. it was disgusting that people came and broke into the capital. they ought to be -- the fbi is doing their job as far as i can tell. they are prosecuting people that broke into the capital. there were two committees rolls and homeland security i think it was. we did hearings about things we need to change in the capital security and i think those changes are being made to make it safer. but it is disgusting. people should never be breaking into the capital. they should not break into anything. the ox to be prosecuted. -- they ought to be prosecuted.
trying to burn the building out in portland and democrats don't let's these people prosecute. no. if you break the law, you should be prosecuted. when i became governor of florida it surprised me people do not enforce the law. i thought we all had to comply with a lot to the best we could. -- complied with the law the best we could. >> [inaudible] >> i did not see that. they said that but if you violates the law, you violates the law. i did clemency cases and the way i always looked at clemency cases, it was clemency based on a change -- the way i look at it was, when people came and i said do not litigate why you're
prosecuted. tell me how you changed. you get the crowd riled up. >> it is a clemency process. i get 100 pieces about every 90 days. that is the way i looked at my cases. >> what brock's people out on the sixth -- what brought people out on the sixth in the first place. whether it was the rapid changes in election laws or the way the media portrays trump supporters,
and my reporting i just heard a lot of different reasons for what's brought people out and i'm wondering what extent you feel of the committee has reflected an understanding of those things and addressed those factors that could lead to more political violence or is there a risk that these hearings which are meant to prevent another such attack could actually rile up people further? >> i think they made it worse. i think people would be happy with the legitimate review of what goes on. and everything. i think people would like us to review, for example why is the border open? i have been up here 3.5 years and what i see all the time is it is all about having a message for the next election rather than solving problems. if they cared about january 6, actually cared, then they would
have a legitimate committee that would you legitimate oversight. we already had two senate committees doing it so you do not need another one. by the way, i am ok with things as long as it is set up fairly. it was not set up the weight prior commissions had been set of area i could go back to details but it was still where one party controlled when is this and things like that. >> stephen from a bloomberg. >> you did come under some bipartisan fire when you came out with your plan -- a revised
plan, a big split between you and mcconnell about how specific you were an particularly the two things he did not like was the proposal that everybody pay at least some income tax, which i think you said could be a few dollars for some people. and the other one was sunsetting all federal laws and he talked about that -- we are not going to do that if i am in charge. i wonder how you navigated that and do you have any regrets over anything that you put in that original plan, given that's now the democrats are at least trying to run against that and saying republicans have a plan to raise taxes and tell them things you care about like medicare and social security at
? >> i assume that democrats do not like what i put out. i believe in people working and they are trying to get people not to work. there are people that do not believe we ought to run on a plan. i do. i am a business guy. i believe the artist to have a we ought to have a plan. if somebody has a better idea let's have a conversation about it. i believe people ought to get back to her. if you get back to work you actually pay taxes. i have never supported tax increases or fee increases. but i do believe if you are able-bodied you ought to go back to work. you pay payroll taxes and income
taxes. you buy a house you pay property taxes. my mom would never have allowed us to say it let me see if there is another government program i can go on rather than get a job area what's the democrats have done is finding another government program rather than finding a job. i have been clear about what i believe. people are disingenuous when they wants to say i wanted to do anything to hurt medicare and social security. biden voted to do that. he supported that. that would suggest we ought to have permanent funding for every program that we have, which we do not including the most important program which is our defense budget. we do that every year. >> mcconnell basically said we are not going to do your plan but there is sort of an unclear
-- he talked about some of the agenda with topics, border, inflation, etc.. as far as having a plan to actually do what you want to do even when republicans were in charge you are not happy with republicans not controlling spending, with republicans not taking on entitlements. are you comfortable with mitch mcconnell's leadership? do you think republicans new majority would be prepared to take some tough votes on things like controlling entitlements that you would need to be done to control inflation, balance budgets? >> i think we have to figure out how to live within our means. we have to be honest with the american public. running deficits every year. why do we have inflation? it is simple.
we have excess, excess spending in every area it seems like in this country almost. my state has only balanced its budget one time in the 40 years before i got elected. one year. i balanced the budget and cut taxes and fees and we had record funding for things because we grew the economy. we have to figure out how do we grow this economy. part of it is get everybody back to work if you are able-bodied. when they do we will have more revenues to invest but this idea that we can just keep borrowing money -- inflation is not going away if we keep doing this. if we keep having excessive spending and we have a federal reserve that continues to keep a balance sheet, i do not see how inflation is going away. >> do you feel the republican party knows they had a chance, they had control of government for two years and stay increased spending, even before covid,
they did not pass the aca overall? they did not do a lot of things. i have seen charts. they kind of drop kicked that and did not do any of that. it just seems like we have an instant blowback. do you think the republican party has a credibility problem on this issue of balancing the budget, doing the stuff that you didn't order? >> i think the public is going to demand it, so i think the public is going to demand accountability in government, and so, it's going to happen. i don't know when it's going to happen, but the public is fed up with this inflation. the public is smart. he didn't have a lot of
education, but he was no dummy. this idea that we're just going out waste money, he would have never have allowed that, and he was a democrat. there will be an election. so i think we have an election right after. right now, i don't know if anybody is going to run against leader mcconnell. he's a leader. that's a hypothetical. >> is it possible you will run? >> i don't have a plan to run. i have a plan to run for u.s. senate. >> we have four minutes as promised to get you out of here on time. this to one question each. >> one strategy here, $17 million last month, and you have been really aggressive running ads in all these states. is there a way you will continue
at levels throughout the rest of the day? >> we are going to spend our money and from the democrats as early as we can. that's our plan. we have to keep raising money. every month. >> democrats have built massive for chess, are you confident you will have the resources? >> i believe we will, but you personally can it. >> are there things that you think you wouldn't report and would easily violate question mark going back to the gun reform bill, based on the framework, are there provisions you would support? >> there's the school safety act, which would codify what trump started for the national database to help parents see how safe their school is. it's no different than what jeff
did when he started the school ranking in florida, something like that. i believe in that. the secret service act, we have a bill where the secret service, we would have them put more effort in school safety. so those two things i would for sure support. but i just got the bill last night, so i'm going through it. i would support those two provisions, but i will look at the bill. >> from bloomberg government. >> you have contested primaries next week in colorado, just wanted to see your thoughts, especially in colorado, two very different candidates. trying to elect to one of them? >> they put out some information saying that -- they explained it
better than i can, but basically they said one of the candidates was supported by the republican party of colorado, which, one, was not true, and two, they did not do the disclosure of who put it out. so, they -- it's looks like they followed the line we are filing the sec complaint. >> having the democrats get involved with some of the more controversial candidates and that were more controversial to this? >> i don't think people want washington to pick who the candidates are. the voters in the states will pick who's going to represent them. >> i think we reach the end of our hour, and i really appreciate your coming and hope to see you again. >> i will get you the information.
i have to think about why and i will triple get it to you. thank you very much. thank you. goodbye. >> thank you, senator. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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