Sen. Rick Scott on Sunday responded with reluctant criticism of former President Donald Trump‘s verbal jab at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao.
Mr. Trump on Friday lambasted Mr. McConnell as having a “DEATH WISH” for helping pass a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown and mocked Ms. Chao, who had served as his Transportation secretary.
“Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” Mr. Trump posted on his social media site Truth Social.
Mr. Scott of Florida, chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, initially dodged a question about whether such rhetoric was appropriate before he condemned it.
“I can never talk about and respond to why anybody else says what they said,” Mr. Scott said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think what the president is saying is there’s been a lot of money spent over the last two years. We have got to make sure we don’t keep caving to Democrats. This causes unbelievable inflation and causing more and more debt. The president likes to give people nicknames.”
“It’s never, ever OK to be a racist. I think you always have to be careful if you’re in the public eye how you say things,” Mr. Scott added. “You want to make sure you’re inclusive.”
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Ms. Chao was born in Taiwan and her family’s shipping business is headquartered in the U.S. and does business globally, including in China. She resigned from the Trump Cabinet the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Mr. McConnell’s relationship with Mr. Trump also soured following the event, with the former president frequently ridiculing the Senate GOP leader.
“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?” Mr. Trump said in his Truth Social post. “In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH.”